New York could be a lot safer with familial DNA search being in use to track down criminals.
New York could be a lot safer with familial DNA search being in use to track down criminals. (Photo source: New York Post)

Since the investigation began to find the killer of Karina Vetrano, her father pleaded for “familial DNA search” that could help to find his daughter’s killer. Mr. Vetrano continued with his campaign to gather enough petition signatures that would secure the approval although the cops eventually arrested the perpetrators without using the new tool.

However, debates continue about the use of familial DNA search to find suspects. This tool uses the evidence gathered from the crime scene to track down suspects when their genetic fingerprints are not in the database. This new method could help identify a suspect by running his or her DNA against the database to find any individual whose DNA is a close match and included in the file.

Although this does not necessarily ensure that the investigators would be able to speed up their search, it surely can give valuable lead to the police to crack a case. However, the current New York law does not allow the law enforcers to use this tool for investigation. The familial DNA test turned out to be extremely vital to track down perpetrators in as many as eleven states where this method has been legalized. The “Grim Sleeper” serial killer of Los Angeles as well as the “Roaming Rapist” of California was arrested using the familial DNA searches.

Experts believe that thousands of unsolved New York cases can see light if the investigators are allowed to use the familial DNA searches. Those who opposes the legalization of the system argues that this may lead to the violation of privacy and can even put innocent people in a rather uncomfortable situation as the search can unnecessarily drag them into the investigations through close DNA matches.

Richard Brown, the Queens DA is currently running his campaign to bring a change in the New York law to legalize the use of familial DNA searching. He stated that the law which prohibits the use of this new method simply makes no sense. According to reports, the Commission on Forensic Science of the state of New York is expected to make a decision on the issue which may allow the use of familial DNA searches for investigations, something that will make New York a safer place.


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