Jerry Westrom likely thought nothing of the napkin he used to wipe his mouth with after eating a hot dog at a Minnesota hockey game last month, but for the Minneapolis Police Department, that very napkin provided the DNA sample they’d been searching years for.
Using a genealogy company to match the genetic materials they’d gleaned from Westrom’s napkin to the DNA found at the scene of an unsolved murder case in 1993, authorities were able to identify the 52-year-old Minnesota man as their primary suspect, The New York Times reported.
Nearly 26 years after the crime, technology has finally caught up with Westrom. The father of three was charged with the murder of then-35-year-old sex worker Jeanne Ann Childs who was found stabbed to death in her Minneapolis apartment in June 1993.
Childs’ apartment was found flooded with the shower running and Childs lying naked on the floor save for a pair of socks. Her body had been stabbed several times, even after she had
Crime scene investigators collected DNA from the apartment — including from a comforter on her bed, a bathroom towel, and a washcloth. Until now, however, none of that DNA was successfully matched with anyone. But with the booming popularity of online genealogy and heritage sites, more DNA than ever has been at the disposal of investigators.
Last year, investigators used genealogy websites to find matches for the DNA collected in 1993 and found two feasible suspects. One of them was Westrom — a man who’d lived near the murder in the early 1990s and was convicted of soliciting prostitution in 2016. Naturally, probable cause was quickly assessed…Continue Reading