Va. Prosecutor: Familial DNA Testing Could Have Caught Rapist | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Va. Prosecutor: Familial DNA Testing Could Have Caught Rapist

Play associated audio

Prince William County Commonwealth's attorney Paul Ebert says to him, the East Coast Rapist could have attacked any woman at any time, an idea that for Ebert makes the case only comparable to the DC Sniper investigation.

"It was music to my ears to hear that he had been arrested," he says.

But Ebert says Friday's arrest of 39-year-old Aaron Thomas, in New Haven, Conn., could have come years ago, had authorities in Connecticut had access to familial DNA searches.

The practice allows law enforcement to take unidentified DNA samples, and find close matches, indicating a familial relationship.

"We know that one of his family members had been arrested well prior to these recent crimes," Ebert says of Thomas.

The technology for such searches is readily available, but most states don't allow familial DNA testing because of privacy concerns.

Partly because of the unsolved East Coast Rapist cases, Virginia's Department of Forensic Science started testing the software needed to perform familial DNA searches in January.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 1

Music from West Africa and photography from South East Asia come to the D.C. area.

NPR

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

Researchers have found a gene that affects how strongly you experience bitter flavors. And those who aren't as sensitive eat about 200 more servings of vegetables per year.
NPR

Obama Sidesteps Midterm Campaigning As Approval Ratings Slump

The president's job approval rating is somewhere in the low 40s. That means there are a lot of places where his presence would hurt more than it helps.
NPR

Facebook Apologizes For Name Policy That Affected LGBT Community

The social networking site will not change its requirement for people to use "real" names on their profiles, but it will adjust how alleged violations are reported and enforced.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.