Man's DNA test helps police arrest his relative in connection with death

Detectives use genealogy to solve 2001 homicide

VALDOSTA, Ga. – Companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA help people trace their family's history.

John Hogan took one of those DNA tests and sent it off to learn more about his relatives. He had no idea Orlando homicide detectives also got his genealogy information.

"When you told me that my DNA helped solve a 17-year cold case murder, I just couldn't believe it," Hogan said.

Hogan had never heard of Christine Franke, a 25-year-old University of Central Florida student who was gunned down in her Orlando apartment in 2001.

Police said the killer left his DNA behind at the crime scene. But for 17 years, detectives could not match that DNA to anyone.

"I was always interested in my heritage and my family and my culture," Hogan said.

A few years ago, Hogan signed up for the genealogy service AncestryDNA. His DNA test results were later uploaded to GEDmatch, a separate online database used to identify potential relatives.

"We have a huge, huge family," Hogan said.


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