, 2021-10-02 02:00:00,
McAdoo, 53, had no idea she would apparently help solve a family mystery: what happened to her cousin, Margaret Fetterolf, a habitual runaway who went missing from her Alexandria, Va., home in 1975 at age 16.
For decades, Fetterolf’s family held out hope that she would one day show up for Thanksgiving dinner.
All the while, cold case detectives struggled to identify a body found in 1976, 50 miles away near a Baltimore County cemetery. The victim was known only as the Woodlawn Jane Doe, after the community outside Baltimore where she was discovered — strangled, sexually assaulted and wrapped in a white sheet, her hands bound.
This summer, detectives identified the Woodlawn Jane Doe as Fetterolf using a controversial new law enforcement technique: linking the DNA of unidentified bodies and potential suspects in serious crimes to relatives who upload their DNA to genealogy sites that allow police to access their genetic information. The technique, as one scientific paper metaphorically put it, reduces the size of the investigative haystack, allowing investigators to “identify the needle.”
To law enforcement agencies, investigative genetic genealogy…
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