Law enforcement didn't inform genealogy site about efforts to track suspected serial killer

Law enforcement didn't inform genealogy site about efforts to track suspected serial killer

Law enforcement authorities did not inform a genealogy site that they were using its free database to track down a suspect in a string of decades-old serial killings and rape, one of the site’s founders said.

“This was done without our knowledge, and it’s been overwhelming,” Curtis Rogers, a co-founder of GEDmatch, told The Associated Press.

Rogers insisted the company does not “hand out data,” and told the AP that the incident raises privacy concerns.

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Authorities this week arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, who they suspect of being the East Area Rapist, a serial killer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s. Investigators zeroed in on him after matching crime scene DNA with one of DeAngelo’s relatives on GEDmatch.

People typically use such sites to track down relatives, though Rogers told the AP that his site warns users that the public database can be used for other purposes.

DeAngleo faces eight counts of murder.