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Thread: Familial DNA used to solve 30 year old murder of Jay Cook & Tanya Van Cuylenborg

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    Familial DNA used to solve 30 year old murder of Jay Cook & Tanya Van Cuylenborg

    http://q13fox.com/2018/05/18/seatac-...ng-to-seattle/

    An arrest has been made in the murders of 20-year-old Jay Cook and 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg, more than 30 years after the young couple?s bodies were found in Snohomish and Skagit counties.

    SeaTac?s William Earl Talbott II, 55, was booked into Snohomish County Jail on one count of first-degree murder in Van Cylenborg?s death, and detectives are processing evidence and interviewing witnesses in Cook?s death.

    On Friday, Talbott pleaded not guilty in Skagit County Superior Court to charges in connection with Van Cuylenborg's murder. Bail was set at $2 million; his next court appearance is set for June 16.
    Cook and Van Cylenborg had driven a van down from Saanich, B.C., to pick up a part for Cook?s father in Seattle. The last time their whereabouts were known was when they bought a ticket in Bremerton at 10:16 p.m. on Nov. 18, 1987, to take the ferry to Seattle.

    On Nov. 24, Van Cuylenborg?s partially clothed body was found in a Skagit County ditch. Cook?s van was found the next day in a parking lot in Bellingham, and his body was found in Snohomish County along Crescent Lake Road the day after that.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...ealogy/560750/

    The Coming Wave of Murders Solved by Genealogy

    On Friday, police in Washington State announced the arrest of William Earl Talbott II for a double murder in 1987, and this time, they proudly announced the use of the same method of tracing distant relatives through DNA?a field known as genetic genealogy. Steven Armentrout, the president of Parabon NanoLabs, the forensics company that did the DNA analysis, spoke at the press conference. So did CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist who now works with the company.

    Parabon has jumped headlong into this technology. On May 8, it announced the creation of a new genetic-genealogy unit led by Moore. The company recently told BuzzFeed it had uploaded DNA from about 100 crime scenes to GEDmatch.com, with about 20 of them generating matches of a third cousin or closer. ?I think there is going to be press around this very soon,? the company?s director of bioinformatics had said to BuzzFeed.
    In the double murder in Washington State, the suspect?s DNA matched two relatives, both fairly close by the standards of this research: a second cousin and a half?first cousin once removed. The former relative was on the mother?s side, the latter the father?s side, so the suspect was not hard to identify. ?No cases are easy, but when they are straightforward, it really falls into place very quickly,? says Moore.

    She says she had been talking to Parabon for about a year and a half. She had initially hesitated to work on criminal cases because she was unsure of legal and ethical issues, especially if people uploading their DNA to GEDmatch were unaware police were trawling through the database. But the positive feedback since the Golden State Killer case convinced her to make the plunge.

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    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/1...ashington.html


    Yes this was expected since Sacramento county Sheriff department, Sacramento city police department got the Golden State Killer.

    Vallejo Police department Zodiac killer samples are still pending.

    Yes using genomes and genealogy sites to get missing victims or murderers are going to be common at this point.

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    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/second...uple-1.3976580

    Second murder charge filed against Wash. man in 1987 death of Victoria couple

    William Earl Talbott is facing two charges of aggravated first-degree murder, according to court documents filed Friday in Washington state's Snohomish court.

    Talbott, 55, was arrested in May and charged with the first count of first-degree murder in Van Cuylenborg's death, with investigators saying at the time that they expected to lay a second charge in Cook's death after gathering more evidence.

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    Senior Member DiaDeLosMuertos's Avatar
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    Everyone beware of that crazy uncle badmouthing DNA sites. Wonder how many older folks that think they got away with something decades ago are shitting their britches now.
    Jenn

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    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...ext-cold-case/

    A cold case murder trial in Snohomish County will be the first to include genetic genealogy as an investigative tool as law enforcement embraces technology to solve crimes.

    The double-homicide trial of William Earl Talbott II, who is accused of the 1987 killings of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, will be closely watched by cold case investigators, prosecutors and defense attorney across the country. And that includes the Inland Northwest, where Coeur d’Alene and Spokane police say they are interested in watching as new technology is used to try to win a murder conviction.

    Snohomish County investigators exhausted all conventional resources investigating the 1987 killings, said Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
    The crime scene DNA in the Talbott case had a hit with DNA submitted by Talbott’s second cousin and a half first cousin. But the two in the database weren’t related genetically.

    “Their tree had to converge somehow and lead to him,” Moore said. “I found an obituary that tied the two families together and there was a marriage between those two family trees.”

    The product of the marriage was four kids: three daughters and one son – William Earl Talbott II.

    With this information in hand, Snohomish County approached the cousins for a DNA sample that would independently confirm these results, and the cousins consented.

    “My understanding is that they don’t know (Talbott) very well …,” Ireton said. “They just had no idea, and they were very cooperative.”

    After the DNA was independently confirmed, the cold case got interesting.

    Police tailed Talbott for weeks, hoping to get a sample of his DNA. Finally, a cup blew out of his car, and police retrieved it.

    “Most of the work we do is pretty boring,” Ireton said. “It’s not like Hollywood, but for a few weeks it did feel pretty exciting, new and cutting edge.”

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    This is one of the first cases to go to trial where familial DNA was used to close a cold case. I am interested to see how it goes and if the defense manages to get the DNA evidence quashed.

    https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/n...illed-in-1987/

    Jurors heard during opening statements about the mysterious final days of a young Canadian couple killed in 1987 — as well as the novel method authorities used to finally make an arrest three decades later.

    William Earl Talbott II was arrested last year and charged with aggravated murder after authorities said they used genetic genealogy to identify him as the person who left his DNA on the clothing of one of the victims. The practice involves identifying suspects by entering crime-scene DNA profiles into public databases that people have used for years to fill out their family trees.

    Opening statements began Friday with a prosecutor describing how 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jay Cook, left their hometown of Saanich, B.C., near Victoria, traveling on the MV Coho ferry to Port Angeles for what was supposed to be an overnight trip to Seattle in November 1987.
    Detectives investigated hundreds of leads in the ensuing decades and tested the DNA against criminal databases, to no avail. But Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Jim Scharf learned about Parabon Labs in Reston, Va., which was using a new DNA processing method to extract more information from samples.

    Last year, CeCe Moore, a genealogist there who is known for her work on the public television series “Finding Your Roots,” used the public genealogy database GEDmatch to find distant cousins of the person who left the DNA. She built a family tree and determined the source must be a male child of William and Patricia Talbott of Monroe.

    William Talbott II, now 56, was their only son. He was 24 at the time of the killings and lived near where Cook’s body was found.

    Genetic genealogy has taken off as an investigative tool in the past year, since police in California revealed that they used it to arrest and charge a man suspected of being the sadistic attacker known as the Golden State killer, who killed 13 people and raped nearly 50 women during the 1970s and 1980s.

    Since then, authorities have used the DNA method to identify more than 60 cold-case suspects across the country. Talbott was one of the first.

    Deputy prosecutor Justin Harleman told jurors that once Talbott became a suspect, investigators tailed him, saw him discard a coffee cup and then tested the DNA from the cup, confirming it matched evidence from the crime.

    Genetic genealogy, he said, “simply gave law enforcement a tip, like any other tip that they follow up on.”

    Privacy advocates have expressed concerns about whether the technique violates the rights of suspects and whether its use by law enforcement should be restricted, but Talbott’s attorneys agreed that how detectives found him is irrelevant, and they didn’t challenge it.

    Instead, attorney Jon Scott told jurors in his opening statement Friday that the presence of the DNA doesn’t make his client a killer. He offered no explanation of how Talbott’s DNA got there, and said the evidence doesn’t explain how the couple spent their final days or with whom.

    Scott described his client as a “blue-collar guy” who had worked in construction and as a truck driver and lived a “quiet, unremarkable life.”

    “He’s just lived and worked, and that’s all he’s done,” Scott said.

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    https://mynorthwest.com/1435604/will...urder-verdict/


    (KIRO 7)
    A jury in Snohomish County has found a man guilty in the 1987 double murder of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg.

    Investigators linked him to the decades-old murder case using genetic genealogy.

    William Earl Talbott II was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances.

    Talbott killed Cook, 20, and Van Cuylenborg, 18, a Canadian couple who disappeared on a road trip from their home near Victoria, British Columbia to Seattle.


    About a week later, Van Cuylenborg’s body was found down an embankment in rural Skagit County, north of Seattle. She was naked from the waist down and had been shot in the back of the head.

    Hunters found Cook dead two days later in brush near a bridge over the Snoqualmie River in Monroe – about 60 miles from where his girlfriend was discovered. He had been beaten with rocks and strangled with twine and two red dog collars, authorities said.

    The couple’s van was found in Bellingham near a bus station. Van Cuylenborg’s pants were in it; investigators found semen on the hem, and said it matched that on her body.

    Talbott was arrested last year and charged with aggravated murder after authorities said they used genetic genealogy to identify him as the person who left his DNA on Van Cuylenborg’s clothing. The practice involves identifying suspects by entering crime-scene DNA profiles into public databases that people have used for years to fill out their family trees.


    Prosecutors said Talbott’s partial palm print on the couple’s van and the DNA evidence is proof Talbott raped Van Cuylenborg.

    “Under what circumstances does the defendant end up in the back of the van for a consensual sexual encounter with Tanya? Where’s Jay? What does he think about it?” asked Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Baldock.

    Van Cuylenborg’s body showed no evidence of sexual assault.

    There were gloves found with the abandoned van, and Talbott’s attorneys said if he was the killer, he would have used them, so his hand print on the van was evidence of consent.

    “At some point, Tanya had sexual contact with Bill, but we don’t know anything beyond that, and that’s not sufficient proof to convict a man of aggravated murder,” said defense attorney Rachel Forde.

    Talbott faces life in prison.

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    This was the first of the 'familial DNA' cases to go to trial, so I was very curious to see how it would go. I am glad that jury understood and the fights against the DNA didn't prevail. I am glad Jay and Tanya's family was able to get some justice.

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    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/briti...rder-1.5223418

    The first person to ever be convicted as a result of genealogy research has been handed two life sentences for killing a young B.C. couple in 1987.

    William Talbott II, 56, was sentenced on Wednesday at Snohomish County District Court in Everett, Wash. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

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