Genealogy used to solve Texas cold case

now to new technology being used to fight crime genealogy helping investigators solve cold cases including one high-profile murder right here in Texas it was 1981 Realtor wife mother Virginia Freeman stabbed and strangled while showing this home in Bryan now all this time later DNA in genealogical research has pinpointed a killer channel twos leaf releasing reports from Brazos County a popular trend has become a powerful crime-fighting tool and it was used to crack a cold case by the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office to solve a decades-old cold case it was a vicious vicious crime was a deeply personal mission for the man who took these crime scene photos it was a new deputy at the time who is now the sheriff himself certainly I you know a very interesting scene it’s all back in 1981 Virginia Freeman a realtor and mother of two was stabbed and strangled at a home she thought she was showing to a potential buyer it shook the community we didn’t have a lot of murders in Brazos County evidence was collected including the victims fingernails but the secrets they held remained out of reach until last week decades later now DNA analysis and genealogical research has led us to our killer the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office turned to a new popular trend genealogy testing the decades-old DNA was sent to a lab they came up with two female sources that were distant relatives of our suspect one of those lines they found James Otto Earhart who lived in Brazos County James Earhart was convicted and executed for the murder of a nine-year-old girl but his son gave the sheriff’s office a sample of his own DNA and it was a match it’s extremely gratifying to to put this one behind us yesterday Earhart’s body was exhumed in DNA evidence taken to confirm that he was the killer of Virginia Freeman and to also see if he’s linked to other cold cases in Bryan in Bryan Lee for Lisi KPRC Channel 2 News


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