Arrest Made in 20-Year-Old Cold Case as Genetic Family Tree of Rape Suspect Guides Investigation

During a press conference, the police, along with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Bronx DA Darcel Clark, praised the innovative method of Investigative Genetic Genealogy for its role in apprehending the suspect in a long-standing case. This technique involves analyzing DNA from crime scene samples and comparing them with consumer genealogy databases to identify potential matches with “genetic relatives who have given their consent to aid law enforcement.”

Investigators in Florida were able to identify Jancys Santiago, 48, as a suspect thanks to the information provided in the profile. They found a discarded water bottle that Santiago had thrown away, and were able to recover a sample of his DNA from it. When compared to the DNA evidence collected from the crime scenes 20 years prior, it was a match.

“After waiting for more than 20 years, we are finally delivering justice to two women who endured horrifying attacks,” stated Clark. She expressed her gratitude towards the Manhattan DA’s Office, the NYPD, and her Forensic Science Unit for their unwavering dedication in resolving these cases. Clark emphasized the significance of Investigative Genetic Genealogy in solving various cold cases, not just restricted to murders, and ensuring that the offenders are held accountable. Furthermore, she highlighted the potential of this technique in identifying unidentified victims of homicide, providing closure to their grieving families.”

According to Bragg, DNA has proven to be a powerful tool in solving cold cases and ensuring justice for survivors, even long after a crime has occurred. Bragg expressed gratitude towards the Bronx D.A.’s Office, the NYPD, and the prosecutors in his office for their unwavering commitment to pursuing answers and holding individuals accountable for heinous and violent crimes. He emphasized the importance of prioritizing the well-being of survivors throughout the process.

“Indictments like these serve as a reminder that the dedicated detectives at the NYPD never forget the victims and their right to justice, even as time passes,” stated Police Commissioner Edward Caban. He commended the NYPD forensic genetic genealogist, investigators, and criminologists, along with New York City’s chief medical examiner and everyone involved in the cases from the Manhattan and Bronx district attorneys’ offices, for their skilled dedication to this critical work.


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