The Investigation into the April 24, 1980 rape and murder of Robin Brooks spans 40 years. Retired Sgt. Micki Links has worked the case for over 14 years. Using Genetic Genealogy, Sgt. Links was able to identify Phillip Lee Wilson as the person responsible for Robin's brutal murder by matching forensic evidence from the crime scene to Wilson. He was arrested on April 23, 2020.
With the creation of websites such as Ancestry.com, 23andme.com, and GEDmatch.com, people all over the world are submitting their DNA to locate their family tree and learn more about their family history. Some people go a step further and allow their DNA to be uploaded into a research database to learn even more.
Cold cases like Robin's are being solved across the country, almost on a daily basis, as forensic genealogy is advancing. The Sacramento Country Sheriff's office just made another arrest as of November 4th, 2021, apprehending a serial rapist they called "The Cloverfield Rapist" using forensic genealogy. The arrest of The Cloverfield rapist was the 7th cold case using forensic genealogy in the Sacramento Area.
Some refer to Colleen Fitzpatrick as the pioneer of forensic genealogy. Colleen has worked hundreds of cold cases using forensic genealogy and has helped hundreds of families find answers. Colleen shared with us that forensic genealogy is ground breaking technology that she hopes all police departments and organizations can start to use. Colleen founded her own organization called Identifinders, where she collaborates with law enforcement and uses forensic genealogy to solve cold cases.