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Anijen

DNA leads to arrest

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Posted (edited)

https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/dna-technology-led-police-to-baby-andrew-s-mother/1836335057

I am glad she was caught and charged.

Summary: A lady gives birth to a baby and then abandons the baby, baby dies. The police took DNA evidence off of the baby (1981). The police used DNA sites including Ancestry.com that gave the likely family results that lived in South Dakota. Then narrowed it down from there. They got her DNA from her garbage she left at the curb.

I like how DNA is being used to solve old crimes.

What do you guys think of private DNA companies selling their info? I know some companies like Ancestry.com will do this, as do others. What about privacy laws? I did not know until reading this story that when using Ancestry.com DNA tests we give up the privacy of the results. I of course should have realized that they did this because it is the business to connect people and they would have to do that.

Edited by Anijen
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A part of me would like for this type of information to remain private, even when given voluntarily given to groups like Ancestry.com. However, I also have an appreciation when justice is served and those who commit crimes are caught. What is important to me is who has access to the data and for what reasons. For example, if an insurance company had access to such data and then chose to reject all those people they identified as susceptible to specific diseases and rejected them or marked them as uninsurable, then there is a major problem. 

For some strange reason I thought of the Me Too movement - if you haven't done anything wrong, then there is no problem. The rub comes when the definitions of wrong become .... something different and individuals are destroyed for what has heretofore been recognized as flirting. 

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Posted (edited)

This is similar to a recent case in which the police nailed a murder suspect in a cold case from years ago. They did this with Ancestry DNA. They staked out the guy at a sporting event and saw him buy a hot dog and then throw away the napkin. Police retrieved the napkin, then took DNA from saliva thereon, compared it with the Ancestry information, and bingo!

I say that absent a specific contract, there should be no right to privacy with DNA information, especially where crime detection is concerned. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I've written before about this and similar issues.  We can debate the contours of specific rights, of the protections they do (and do not) afford, and of the protections they should (and should not) afford.  At the end of the day, though, in many cases, courts (when they litigate the issues) will decide that society's interests in deterring crime, and in investigating it, prosecuting it, and seeing that it is punished appropriately when it does occur outweigh the individual's privacy interests.

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/crime-discarded-refuse-and-dna/

https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/mormon-ordinances-for-deceased-ancestors-dna-and-crime/

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

... I say that absent a specific contract, there should be no right to privacy with DNA information, especially where crime detection is concerned. 

And in most cases, even if, somehow, an individual does retain a privacy interest in DNA results he has provided to a Web site, due to the weighty public policy issues tipping in favor of detecting and prosecuting crime, on the one hand, and against the individual's privacy interest, on the other hand, actually, a contract will stipulate that, when presented with a valid subpoena, search warrant, or similar instrument, the company will surrender the information.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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5 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

And in most cases, even if, somehow, an individual does retain a privacy interest in DNA results he has provided to a Web site, due to the weighty public policy issues tipping in favor of detecting and prosecuting crime, on the one hand, and against the individual's privacy interest, on the other hand, actually, a contract will stipulate that, when presented with a valid subpoena, search warrant, or similar instrument, the company will surrender the information.

I believe the fine print actually will say that the data can be sold.

Another question is; does one actually think they have a right to privacy in DNA? For example, My DNA will be very familiar to my grand childs DNA. I have no right when my grandchild gets an ancestry.com and does a DNA history for her, but my DNA will be very close to his/hers.

This is how they caught the lady, they did a DNA history from the baby and tried to match it with those in South Dakota. They found a few matches then they did a DNA history of her grandchild and then looked to see if it was a close match to the victim (it was). Then matched it with the DNA from garbage left on the curb (no longer a privacy issue because of throwing it away and taking it to the curb) it matched. the evidence is very strong and she will probably spend the rest of her life in prison (assuming she is found guilty at trial or if she pleads guilty).

 

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DNA is a scientific break through that is changing the way look at the data in many areas of traditional research, society, genealogy, religion and history.

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Posted (edited)

This is really an interesting issue. In many cases we are not necessarily talking about privacy issues for the DNA of someone who is caught for a cold case crime, since that person may not have been found because of his/her own DNA, rather they might have been found because a near relative had done a DNA test. What can happen is that the relative of someone who committed rape or a murder gets their DNA tested and as a result the police notice that there is a close, not exact, familial match to an unsolved crime, which information they use to figure out that actual perpetrator, who never submitted their DNA. So there isn't even a question of whether or not the perpetrator's privacy was violated. These types of uses do not bother me in the least but there are other areas where it is not so clear.

Recently the husband of my cousin who is in his 60's was contacted by a daughter he had no idea even existed. She found him through DNA site which indicated that his family was comprised of close matches and by the process of elimination figured out he was her father. These are cases where privacy issues may be in question. Think about a parent who gave up a child for adoption and does not want their identity revealed. The public DNA database has made it fairly easy to figure out things like that. I know my wife's mother was adopted and never knew who her real mother was, but my wife has been able to find living relatives of her birth grandmother this way. Do such people have a privacy right?

 

Interesting questions.

Edited by CA Steve
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Think about a parent who gave up a child for adoption and does not want their identity revealed.

I would hate to think someone chose to have/push for an abortion out of fear that a child she/he gave up for adoption might show up one day on their doorstep.  Safe Haven laws that allow parents to give up children without disclosing their own identity might be viewed as useless, fear that the law might be changed later on, etc...parents may not be all that rational in the first place to thoughtfully weigh the risk or understand the law to begin with.

Edited by Calm
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7 minutes ago, Calm said:

I would hate to think someone chose to have/push for an abortion out of fear that a child she/he gave up for adoption might show up one day on their doorstep.  Safe Haven laws that allow parents to give up children without disclosing their own identity might be viewed as useless, fear that the law might be changed later on, etc...parents may not be all that rational in the first place to thoughtfully weigh the risk or understand the law to begin with.

Exactly, but there may not be any way around this unless all DNA records are sealed, which would put people like ancestory.com out of business. And that may not even be possible since there already is a lot of public information out there. I am not sure how one would even legislate for this. The DNA databases could simply be moved to a country where such information was not illegal.

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45 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

DNA is a scientific break through that is changing the way look at the data in many areas of traditional research, society, genealogy, religion and history.

Genealogy is especially an interesting question. As LDS we are very big on connecting to our ancestors and linking families together. I think if we realized how interrelated we are all and how quick those interrelations happen, that special feeling of finding that 10th generation grandparent might not be so special, after all he or she only contributed about .01 percent of my DNA make up. Even just 5 generations back, it is less than 1% of my DNA since I have 127 other direct ancestors from whom I descended. As someone else observed:

Quote

The greatly diminishing percentage of one ancestor's genes in your personal genome as you go back in your pedigree is just one reason why it's so biologically insignificant to have distant illustrious ancestors.  Socially, culturally, and historically it may be very significant to you, personally, but not because you are any kind of genetic "image" of your ancestor.  It's also a cautionary as to why it's foolish to think you live on in your children.  Your genetic contribution to your descendants diminishes so rapidly, the idea that bearing children gives you "continuence" is absurd.  You do share 99.9% of your genetic endowment with other human beings; the variable part we study amounts to less than one percent of our genetic endowment.  Be more concerned that the human genome has continuence.

 

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How many people these days are concerned with carrying on of one's family name, bloodline, etc.?  Maybe because I am a woman, the family name was never that meaningful since my kids have a different one than my 'bloodline'.

Curious as to people's opinions.

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45 minutes ago, Calm said:

How many people these days are concerned with carrying on of one's family name, bloodline, etc.?  Maybe because I am a woman, the family name was never that meaningful since my kids have a different one than my 'bloodline'.

Curious as to people's opinions.

I think men may have a stronger sense of name blood lines just because of the name being handed down. I admit to a sense of pride when my first grandson was born, I thought "yes" the "Holt" surname will continue for my descendants.

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44 minutes ago, Calm said:

How many people these days are concerned with carrying on of one's family name, bloodline, etc.?  Maybe because I am a woman, the family name was never that meaningful since my kids have a different one than my 'bloodline'.

Curious as to people's opinions.

Or, how many people are really concerned with gathering a literal bloodline of "Israel"? Given the dilution that happens quickly over time what would that even mean? Also it would be impossible to actually restore the "lost ten tribes", wouldn't it? And, if there actually was an Abraham who fathered the ten tribes, chances are every human being on the planet is in some small way his descendent. What does that do to the concept of "lineage" or the blessing promised to Abraham? I think understanding DNA as we do now forces us to reconsider some of our religious concepts, or at least how our recent LDS ancestors viewed them.

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Posted (edited)

I have used two concepts to imagine the human family (the whole bloodlines thing never worked for me, I think more of individuals with connections going back and forward wherever they are in time or place) and one is an interlocking web/weave, half tapestry, half netting.  The other is a forest with a primal tree with its roots going deep into the earth and branches spreading up into a canopy in the ski, surrounded by similar trees that came from its seeds, that rooted and grew and seeded more trees into this infinitely expanding growth.

So genealogy is more of an exploration than a checklist type of discovery.  I think changing the name to family history works well with the more global concept of family as opposed to bloodlines.

Edited by Calm
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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think changing the name to family history works well with the more global concept of family as opposed to bloodlines.

See this is where I think, as LDS, we should focus, not names. My mother was addicted, in every sense of the word, to doing geology. She has pushed some lines back into the dark ages. She has volumes of data on births, deaths, baptisms and so on that while interesting are not in my view relevant to much. On the other hand she also took the time to compile several notebooks of the history of a certain past relative which are small biographies of these individuals. These are what I think are the actual fruits of her work and should be preserved. Lists of names, births and deaths, not so much. But I suppose we must keep feeding new names to the temple mills. 

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Posted (edited)

No, I don't think that people should have too much pride in name or in place or in pedigree, as if that, alone, will save them.  I'm reminded of what John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism: "Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father.  Behold, I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" (Matthew 3:9).

Nevertheless, I do believe that many of us will have an experience similar to that which President George Albert Smith, in which his ancestor, George A. Smith, appeared to him and asked, "What have you done with my name?"  In any event, whoever's name we bear (or not), people aren't shy about making connections between us and our family: "Oh, you're Sergeant G.'s kid." (Ummmm ... maybe.  Who wants to know? :huh: :unsure: :blink:;):D   Or, "Oh, you're Kenngo1969's dad."  And whoever else's name we have taken upon us, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, all of us have taken upon ourselves His name.  Elder Mervyn B. Arnold discussed both themes in a General Conference address a few years ago: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/what-have-you-done-with-my-name?lang=eng.

In any event, the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is quite clear that our dead cannot be saved without us, nor can we be saved without them.  (And I should note that the emphasis is not on the dead, but, rather, on our dead.)  One of the very purposes of the creation of the Earth is for our hearts to be turned to our forebears.  Indeed, the doctrine is that if that doesn't happen, the whole earth will be smitten with a curse.  As Moroni, quoting Malachi, told Joseph Smith, if the hearts of the children failed to turn to their fathers, the whole earth would be wasted, that is, one of the very ends of its creation would be frustrated.  See Joseph Smith-History 1:38-39. 

Behind every name is a person, and within every person is a soul, and every soul is precious to God, who is Our Father: "Remember, the worth of [a] soul[ ] is great in the sight of God" (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10).  Whatever our blood relationship (or lack thereof) to those for whom we perform ordinances by proxy in the Temple, it behooves us to remember that, for many of them, the performance of such ordinances is the first time their name has been spoken aloud in many hundreds of years: https://www.greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/you-breathed-my-name-aloud/ 

Edited by Kenngo1969
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On 3/9/2019 at 5:20 PM, CA Steve said:

See this is where I think, as LDS, we should focus, not names. My mother was addicted, in every sense of the word, to doing geology. She has pushed some lines back into the dark ages. She has volumes of data on births, deaths, baptisms and so on that while interesting are not in my view relevant to much. On the other hand she also took the time to compile several notebooks of the history of a certain past relative which are small biographies of these individuals. These are what I think are the actual fruits of her work and should be preserved. Lists of names, births and deaths, not so much. But I suppose we must keep feeding new names to the temple mills. 

That whole tiresome salvation thing is such a bore.

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55 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

That whole tiresome salvation thing is such a bore.

In the scope of eternal life, are those who have their  ordinance work done before the Millennium better off than those who have to wait?

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23 hours ago, CA Steve said:

In the scope of eternal life, are those who have their  ordinance work done before the Millennium better off than those who have to wait?

No, but someone who was tortured their entire life is no worse off then someone with a pleasant and happy life if they go to the same place. You are arguing we should not help the tortured person experience a better life right now.

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On 3/9/2019 at 12:59 PM, Anijen said:

I

Another question is; does one actually think they have a right to privacy in DNA? For example, My DNA will be very familiar to my grand childs DNA. I have no right when my grandchild gets an ancestry.com and does a DNA history for her, but my DNA will be very close to his/hers.

This is how they caught the lady, they did a DNA history from the baby and tried to match it with those in South Dakota. They found a few matches then they did a DNA history of her grandchild and then looked to see if it was a close match to the victim (it was). Then matched it with the DNA from garbage left on the curb (no longer a privacy issue because of throwing it away and taking it to the curb) it matched. the evidence is very strong and she will probably spend the rest of her life in prison (assuming she is found guilty at trial or if she pleads guilty).

 

This is why I believe it needs to remain private.  You consented to nothing however the impacts of one member of the family going to ancestry.com can impact you all.

It isn't just criminal issues either.  This has huge implications in terms of adoption privacy, medical issues, extra marital affairs, etc.

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On 3/9/2019 at 3:09 PM, Calm said:

How many people these days are concerned with carrying on of one's family name, bloodline, etc.?  Maybe because I am a woman, the family name was never that meaningful since my kids have a different one than my 'bloodline'.

Curious as to people's opinions.

My maiden name was changed at Ellis island. Before that we are Norwegian and had familial names. My husband last name can be traced to 1200s in england. 

  My mom's maiden name had died out. Her only brother gave his only child up for adoption. There are a lot of females in that family and in mine. My dad was sad that he only has 2 grandsons that carry the last name on. He has 29 grandkids.  

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