DNA from ancestry websites led to the arrest of the accused Golden State Killer, Sacramento officials said Thursday.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested after authorities compared DNA collection from crime scenes to information on ancestry websites.
Authorities believe the former police officer is responsible for at least 12 killings, 50 rapes, and 120 home burglaries in the 1970s and ’80s.
Prosecutors said at least one of the online genealogical profiles contained genetic information from a relative of DeAngelo. The development was first reported by the Sacramento Bee.
Investigators explored online family trees and followed clues to identify possible suspects.
They zeroed in on DeAngelo, who lived on a quiet street in Citrus Heights. He was arrested Wednesday without incident, and remains in custody after being denied bail.
DeAngelo is expected to appear in court on Friday.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s office released the following statement:
“We can confirm that what Sam Stanton from the Bee reported today is accurate. It’s an ongoing investigation. We have given you as much information as we can at this time. No further information on this subject will be provided.” – Chief Deputy Steve Grippi