Unique technology puts face on unidentified cold case victims

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Tim Fleischer reports on how the NYPD is using new DNA technology to solve cold cases.

The same technology used to identify suicide bombers from their DNA is now being employed by the NYPD to help solve cold cases.

With the new information, police have a composite photo of a man killed more than a decade ago in Brooklyn. His body was dismembered and he was never identified, and now, authorities are hoping the photo will change that.

"What we're hoping to do today is to generate this photo and try to develop leads into the identity of the deceased," NYPD Deputy Chief of Special Investigations James Luongo said.

The unique technology has allowed the NYPD to recreate the victim's likeness in a case dating back to 2005. For years, investigators could not identify him, until they teamed with Parabon Nano Labs, which untilizes phenotyping -- DNA to create a composite image.

"This is a combination of using the DNA from the victim, and in addition, looking at the skull and looking at the spacial aspects of the skull," NYPD Deputy Chief of Forensic Investigation Manny Katranakis said. "And measurements of the skull overlayed with the DNA to get as close to what this individual looks like."

Police are hoping someone recognizes the victim and can identify him.

"Bear in mind, this is forensic intelligence," Katranakis said. "So this is not an exact image. It's not precise."

Police are using the same technique in a second murder, of a woman known as Monique. Even working without her skull, the phenotyping was able to create an approximate likeness.

"Here, the DNA came through," Katranakis said. "And now we have an idea of what our victim looks like."

The cases are similar to a couple of other murders in 2005, in which police have charged 38-year-old Kwauhuru Govan. But he's eyed for two more murders and not ruled out in the cold cases.

"We are open to any and all information that comes our way that we can chase down," Luongo said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police.
Related Topics:
technologyDNAcold casemurdernypdNew York City
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