News Agencies have learned that the brother of the East Coast Rapist, Aaron Thomas, 39 years old, is serving time for murder in Maryland. Why is this important? It means that Maryland authorities had collected a sample of his DNA which may have led police to the East Coast Rapist years ago.
Familial searching allows forensic scientists to take a sample of DNA from a crime scene and identify near matches after making comparisons to 300,000 samples of DNA in the Commonwealth's criminal database, maybe to the offender's brother, sister, mother, father, or even more distant relatives. "You may come up with a list of 100, 150 names. Or 50 names. You don't know. You have to determine how many of those people you are going to look at and take on to step two," says Pete Marone, Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences.