DNA databases help solve 35-year-old cold case

(WTMJ) A Wisconsin cold case has been solved after nearly 35 years.

The Ozaukee County Sheriff said Tuesday that forensic science tied a man named Philip Cross to the rape and 1984 murder of Traci Hammerberg.

Forensic scientists used DNA evidence from Hammerberg’s body and compared it to public genealogy databases that thousands of people use to learn about their family history.

“The closest relative identified through the databases was a second cousin,” Sheriff Jim Johnson said.

Johnson said investigators spent months creating a family tree going back several generations to eventually match that DNA to Cross, who was 21-years-old at the time of the murder.

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