, 2022-06-20 16:54:00,
For decades, the family of Peggy Anne Dodd had been searching for closure. Where had their loved one gone when she disappeared in the early 1980s, they wondered?
Well, 38 years after her disappearance, the family finally has answers, thanks in large part to new DNA technology, according to detective Scott Minyard of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators used advanced DNA sequencing and genealogy technology to identify remains found on Fort Bend County property back in December 1984 as Dodd, a Houston-area resident, Minyard said.
“You’re always trying to leverage modern forensics to solve cold cases,” Minyard said.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is one of several law enforcement agencies across the country that have used advanced technology to help solve cases that are decades old.
Deputies with Montana’s Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, for instance, recently used DNA technology and genealogy databases to solve a double homicide from 1956, according to a National Public Radio report.
Those investigators were inspired to try new forensic genealogy because of its use to identify the Golden State Killer in 2018, according to the article.
In the case of Dodd, investigators in December 1984 found human remains on a property that was part of the Manford Williams Ranch in Fort Bend County, according to a news release.
But the remains were skeletal and so investigators couldn’t fingerprint them or determine a cause of death, Minyard said.
The case remained unsolved for decades, Minyard said. But new technology meant researchers could now get a DNA profile from a rootless hair, he said.
Investigators sent off a sample…
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