Authorities across the nation were thrilled and excited about the innovative way investigators captured the Golden State Killer. Now, police Snohomish County have cracked a cold murder case and made an arrest utilizing the same method. They simply uploaded the suspect’s DNA profile captured at the 1987 crime scene into a public genealogy website and came up with a match.
The suspect’s second cousins had uploaded their DNA profiles to the website. CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist, proceeded to utilize this information to build a family tree based on the available data. She used reverse genealogy to deduce the prime suspect, William Earl Talbott II.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect was living at his parent’s home which was only seven miles away from where the victim’s body was found back in 1987. Next, detectives covertly collected a DNA sample that was discarded by the prime suspect. The lab confirmed that the profile matched that of the murderer.
William Talbott was promptly arrested for the brutal murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg who were killed in Washington State in 1987. Talbott pleaded not guilty, and judges set his bail at $2 million. The suspect has no prior criminal record, and his DNA was not found in any existing criminal databases. He was about 24-years-old at the time the murders took place.
The genealogists who assisted in this case are already actively working on at least 12 additional cases using this newer crime solving method.