Forensic genetic genealogy identifies violent offender in several sexual assault cases
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California, March 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — International Identifiersin conjunction with the Pullman Washington The Police Department (PPD) is pleased to announce the identification of a 47-year-old man Kenneth Downing as a suspect in a series of home invasion sexual assaults that occurred in Pullman Between November 2003 and March 2004. Downing was arrested by the Spokane Police department yesterday on a construction site in Spokane where he works construction. It is not believed that Downing knew or had any connection to the victims and that he did not live near them.
Downing faces charges including four counts of first-degree rape, one count of indecent liberty, two counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of unlawful imprisonment. These charges relate to a home invasion that occurred in November 2003 in which a Pullman wife was raped and a second home invasion in March 2004in which a Pullman wife was raped and a second woman assaulted.
Before DNA was collected, the PPD believed the two cases were linked due to similarities in the attacks. The link was confirmed by the crime lab when the DNA profiles from the incidents matched. In 2004, the profile was uploaded to CODIS, the FBI’s DNA database. In 2005, a John Doe arrest warrant was obtained on the case to satisfy the statute of limitations when no hits were reached. In 2020, with no further leads, the PPD engaged Identifinders International to apply forensic genetic genealogy to attempt to solve the case.
“The use of forensic genetic genealogy and the work done by Identifinders on this case was instrumental in the identification and apprehension of a violent offender. Your work is greatly appreciated,” Det. . sergeant. Aaron Brashears of Pullman Police department.
“We appreciate the Pullman Police Department for the trust they place in us,” said Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, President of Identifinders. “We are also grateful to the washington state Attorney General’s Office for the funding they provided through their SAKI program. We look forward to future collaborations.”
Identifinders International is a fee-based forensic service that works with law enforcement and medical examiners to apply forensic genetic genealogy to solving violent crime cold cases and identifying unidentified remains. For more information, please visit www.identifinders.com. For media relations, contact Lori Jonasson – [email protected] / (714) 576-6377
SOURCE Identifiers International