FOX News reports that an arrest has been made based on DNA evidence in a decades-old cold case involving the murder of a young couple. William Talbott, 55, has been arrested in Skagit County for the 1987 murders of Jay Cook, 20, and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18. Talbott is being held on a $2 million bond.
Detectives were able to make the link between crime scene evidence and Talbott’s DNA via a public genealogy website. This is the first arrest that has been made using results from Parabon’s genetic genealogy service, located in Virginia.
The service used became available just two weeks ago, and uses DNA data obtained at crime scenes to match it with information found on a public genetic genealogy website called GEDMatch. The evidence showed a strong link to two of Talbott’s relatives.
This is the same method that was used by investigators to arrest the suspected serial “Golden State Killer.”
Cook and Van Cuylenborg left their homes in British Columbia on November 18, 1987 for a quick trip to Seattle. They were driving a brown 1977 Ford van there to buy furnace parts for a business that Cook’s family owned. They were reported missing when they didn’t return home the following day.
On November 24, a man walking along an isolated stretch of road in Washington found Van Cuylenborg’s body. She had been raped, tied up and shot in the head. Cook’s body was found about 75 miles away. DNA evidence was obtained from the van.
Composite sketches of the suspect were released in April this year based on the evidence that was matched to relatives of Talbott.
* Photo credit FOX News