Identifinders International Joins Forces with Chandler Police Department to Solve 1991 & 1992 Maricopa Co Serial Rapes Using Genetic Genealogy

Top Quote After 28 years of investigation, suspect is arrested after DNA links him to two unsolved sexual assault cold cases. End Quote
  • Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (1888PressRelease) August 16, 2020 - Identifinders International, in conjunction with the Chandler Police Department (CPD) is pleased to announce the arrest of Chandler resident Gary Robert Young for the 1991 and 1992 sexual assaults of two women in Maricopa County. Young was identified using investigative genetic genealogy funded through a $1.2M grant to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) by the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) program. The funds are earmarked to test sexual assault kits and to investigate and prosecute cases involving the kits.

    The case highlights the use of investigative genetic genealogy for solving serial rape cases. In November 1991, a 26-year old woman was kidnapped at gunpoint and sexually assaulted at an apartment complex in Chandler. When crime scene DNA was uploaded into the law enforcement Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), an anonymous match was found to the 1992 kidnapping of a 15-year old Phoenix girl. The young woman was on the way home from school when she was forced into a vehicle and driven to a local residence where she was sexually assaulted. She was returned later that day to another location in the area. When CODIS was unable to identify a suspect, the CPD turned to investigative genetic genealogy to solve the case.

    “In 2020, the Chandler Police Department, with the assistance of Identifiers, successfully solved two separate sexual assault cold cases by harnessing Genetic Genealogy Technology. As an investigator, I hope to continue the use of this technology which is instrumental in bringing closure to these cases,” commented Detective Ashley Nolan of the Chandler Police Department.

    “The Phoenix and Chandler Police Departments are very forward thinking in applying genetic genealogy to their SAKI cases”, said Identifinders International President Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick. “We are pleased that we were able to help them solve this case and look forward to working with them again in the future”.

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