When John Clark finds his son stuck Floor of a Dutch house in the early morning of January 31, 2011He tore the side of the house and called his wife, Matty Clark, to call 911 and shout to tell him that his son was tied up.
Matty Clark’s call is angry because he is screaming to the dispatcher that his son is tied up in the basement and not moving.
When John Clark kicks the front door, he finds 21-year-old Johnny Clarke and 20-year-old Lisa Straub dead on the kitchen floor. Duct tape holds the plastic bag to your head. Lisa’s hand is taped behind her. Johnny’s feet and hands are fixed.
A DNA report provided to the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office on November 30, 2011 provided investigators with the first clues about who killed a young couple. Samuel Williams’ DNA was found in cigarette butts. Williams declares his innocence, but serves life without a chance of parole. The DNA of his friend Cameo Petaway was also in the cigarette. However, Judge James Bates dismissed Petaway’s proceedings, saying that tobacco alone was not evidence of Petaway’s involvement.
The lab reports are full of unknown DNA profiles found in the house. Much of it was in duct tape that restrained Clark. Profiles have been tested on dozens of people, but none of them match.
It’s been over 10 years with few new clues. At this point, the investigator needs someone to talk about what happened. Or you need a forensic miracle.
A new frontier in forensic medicine
Dr. Crystal Oechsle jokes that he can talk about DNA all day long.
A professor of biological sciences at Bowling Green State University spent part of her career as a crime scene inspector and DNA analyst. She rattles information about traditional PCR tests.
But her rhythm is really taken up when talking about the latest DNA technology.
“The up-and-coming and truly exciting technique used in the forensic community is genetic genealogy,” she said. “Instead of doing PCR, we do what’s called sequencing, look at all the DNA there, look at all the DNA, and check the order of the bases, so the sequencing profile gives more data. I will create it. “
Instead of looking at a small number of genetic markers in a PCR test, the sequence looks at hundreds or even thousands of markers. However, instead of comparing the profile with the existing profile of CODIS, the FBI database, it compares the profile with the ancestor database.
If there is a hit, the genealogist will be involved.
“If someone knows the amount of DNA they share with someone, they can go back where they fit in the genealogy. They are their second cousin, cousin, perfect sibling … and genealogy. We perform this process called, and we look for the most common ancestors and build this family tree retroactively, “she said. “Then all you have to do is really track people and see if you were at that time and place.”
The genetic genealogy became prominent when used to nail the Golden State serial killer Joseph James de Angelo in 2018. Investigators matched the DNA of the crime scene with a profile uploaded by D’Angelo’s relatives to an ancestor database.
In an interview with Captain Matt Rutke of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, he admitted that the technique could be used in the Clark Straub murder, but not so often in the county. Attractive evidence to look at is an unknown profile of duct tape around Clark’s neck and ankles, as well as a profile found on mobile phones.
What you can do in a state laboratory is not a test.
“Most forensic laboratories in the country do not do their own genetic genealogy. The equipment in the laboratory for PCR testing is not suitable for this new type of testing, so it is usually in private laboratories. It will be sent, “says Oechsle.
Another obstacle to doing this type of test in the Clarke-Straub murder is when the first sample is exhausted during the fall 2011 DNA test. However, the important line at the end of the BCI’s report to the sheriff’s department states that “if an independent analysis is required, some of the items will remain.”
A text message from Luettke confirms that the county has the state re-examine the sample to see if additional tests can be performed.
Remove the mask of a violent predator
last week, Bart Mercurio confronts a judge in Kaiyahoga County He professed his innocence on rape charges in 1999.
However, the investigator has his DNA from the pop bottle he throws away, which matches the DNA found at the crime scene.
That DNA does not match any profile in the CODIS database. But it matched the profile of the ancestor database.
“As a prosecutor, you want to bring justice to the victim and do everything you can to keep the community safe, and we contact the victim and know who attacked her. She was very happy when she told her that she was, “said Mary Weston.
Weston, Deputy Prosecutor of Kaiyahoga County, is leading the County’s Genetically Engineered Linked DNA Unit (GOLD), which was launched in October 2020 with funding from the Justice Department. A team of prosecutors and investigators is affiliated with the Gene by Gene Lab in Texas. Cleveland embraces the “future” and is fully committed to genetic genealogy.
In January, the GOLD team submitted DNA from 20 crimes involving either consecutive sex offenders or violent offenders to the Texas Institute. Mercurio was the first unmasked suspect, but the county will announce the arrest of two more in the coming weeks.
“It’s very good for the community. We’re trying to solve a really brutal case that happened to someone in our community-and we weren’t accountable,” Weston said. “Our purpose is to identify these predators lurking in our community, those who think they are overcoming it.”
Kaiyahoga County prosecutor Michael O’Malley said his office wanted to extend the unit’s reach to the chilled murder.
“My hope is to keep submitting samples until it brings justice to all the victims of Kaiyahoga County,” O’Malley said.
He said each sample costs $ 4,000 to the county, but is worth a penny.
“We have victims of sexual assault who know that law enforcement continues to work and use all the tools that have evolved to resolve her case. She is very grateful. And doing so made our community safer, “O’Malley said.
Offer to help
The video was posted on the YouTube channel after 11 Investigates aired a three-night investigation into the killings of Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub. As of Thursday, there were over 417,000 views.
One of those views came from CeCe Moore, one of the most famous genealogists in the world.
“The 911 call from my mother was devastating. I’m my mother. I can’t imagine what she experienced or what she experienced,” Moore said. “This is a case where we really want to have DNA that can run the genealogy because we want to be able to provide answers to the whole family and community. This is a catastrophic case. It’s certainly a great candidate. Let’s do it for the genetic genealogy. “
Moore’s team has helped resolve more than 160 cold cases over the last three years.
“We’ve helped identify successfully about once a week, so it was almost a shock at first. I knew how effective this technology was, but the first few times. Is looking for possible names. I’m the only killer and I know what he did, “Moore said.
The first murder she helped resolve (Snohomish County, Washington) has eerie similarities to the Clark Straub case.
“It was the couple who were killed. It reminds me a bit of this incident. They were young, just starting out and enjoying their relationship,” she says. “They were young children aged 18 and 19, and it was a very violent crime, and the case also included duct tape.”
Those murders took place in the late 1980s. Moore believes that evidence of the Clark-Strauve case is even more likely to be feasible.
“Even if it is degraded, mixed, or contaminated, it can usually bring out the human DNA needed to create the genealogy,” she said.
On Tuesday, Moore left a voicemail to Captain Ruetke and offered to help with the investigation. As of Wednesday night, the phone wasn’t returned.
When asked to comment on Moore’s interests, Sheriff Mike Navarre made the following statement: “No one in the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office will publicly comment on this investigation.”
Genealogist CeCe Moore offers support for Clark Straub’s murder
Source link Genealogist CeCe Moore offers support for Clark Straub’s murder