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Michelle Wyatt murder solved with genetic genealogy

These crime investigations using DNA and family trees are truly amazing, and were almost unimaginable at the time the crimes were committed. This case is eerily similar to one that recently resulted in a conviction of a rapist/murderer who killed a waitress and go-go dancer in San Diego in 1969. I recall this tragic case in part because I learned that the Wyatts lived close to where we lived on Highwood Drive at the time, just up and around the corner from their house, which we passed going and coming from ours. About a year after the murder, Louise Wyatt was reported--probably in the Evening Tribune--to be highly dissatisfied with the way the sheriffs department was handling--or not handling--the investigation. That department was noted at the time as having a weak homicide section, and not following usual investigative processes. (It can be argued that it hasn't improved since.) One thing missing in this case is the idea that ALL the neighbors be contacted as quickly as possible. There were many neighbors, and as a result, many were missed due to the turnover of occupants in the complex. While it is a tedious process, such contacts are often the source of a lead that does identify the perpetrator. Michelle was one of those young folks who wanted to "move out" at a time when it wasn't such a major undertaking. We seldom hear that mentioned nowadays. Sadly it led to her demise. If the Duffy detectives had initially investigated this killing with the sort of diligence that these cold-case investigators went to work with DNA, they might very well have solved it then, and not forty one years later. I sympathize with Louise Wyatt's reaction upon learning that the killed is now identified.
— June 10, 2022 10:45 a.m.

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