The use of less than full DNA matches to yield enough genetic information to identify close biological relatives of potential suspects has produced some high-profile arrests in long-unsolved cases over the past two decades.

Kansas authorities tracked down the “BTK killer” in 2005 through his daughter’s DNA, which was collected during a routine pap smear. The technique – so-called familial DNA matching — also was used to identify the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer in California in 2008 and again in 2018 to track down another serial killer, the “Golden State Killer.”