A twenty-five-year-old cold case was recently solved by Smyrna, Georgia police. The violent crime of rape occurred on February 23rd, 1994, when a man entered the B & H Cleaners on Herodian Way. The man had a gun, and demanded the young woman working at the cleaners give him all the money—which she did. He then forced the woman into a back room where he raped her. While investigators worked the case aggressively following the rape, no leads were found until a quarter of a century later when some old DNA evidence was uncovered and sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for testing.
The DNA matched DNA in the GBI database which had been collected on a separate matter two years prior, leading investigators to 44-year-old Walter Bullard. Police found Bullard in the Cobb County jail on charges which were not related to the rape twenty-five years ago. Bullard is now charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment, rape, aggravated sodomy and kidnapping. While there was no statement from the victim, family and friends said they are relieved to hear of Bullard’s arrest, and that even this long after the crime it remains very painful.
2018 Called “The Year of DNA”
Two DNA technologies came to light in 2018 and both have helped police solve cold cases. The first technology allows a DNA technology company to produce a computer-generated sketch of what the perpetrator might look like, while the other involves matching crime-scene DNA samples to DNA on genealogy sites. While the Georgia cold-case above was not related to either of these technologies, rather involved re-testing of crime scene DNA, there have been a number of cold crimes solved over the past year or so using these new technologies. High-tech DNA analysis, traditional genealogical work and online ancestry databases even resulted in solving an extremely high-profile California serial killer case (The Golden State Killer) earlier in 2018.
Parabon NanoLabs is at the forefront of the DNA technology which analyzes a person’s DNA, creating a computer-generated sketch of what the person night look like. Compared to the real-life suspects, the sketches were far from perfect, and could not account for aging, but were “familiar” enough to result in more than two dozen arrests. Parabon was then contracted to develop algorithms to identify individuals via DNA shared with distant relatives. Technology now allows scientists to analyze autosomal DNA which is inherited from both parents. This autosomal DNA can confirm with a high degree of accuracy relationships at the second cousin level. Critics of the technology include privacy advocates and civil rights lawyers, claiming there is no legal oversight and there is the risk of mistaken identifications, however the technologies continue to grow.
Have You Been Arrested and Charged with a Crime in Atlanta?
Have you been arrested and charged with a crime in Atlanta or anywhere in the state of Georgia? At Schnipper Law, P.C., our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys know that one mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life – even 25 years later. As such, you need an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side from the start. Call Schnipper Law P.C., at (404) 545-5845 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We will fight to protect your future