December 21, 2021

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The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office Solves 1997 Rape Cold Case Through Forensic Genealogy

Today, Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez announced the arrest of Edward Duran for a 1997 rape that took place in Northeast Albuquerque. DA Torrez was joined by Connie Monahan, Executive Director of SANE, who discussed the advancements of DNA and genealogy matching over the years.

The District Attorney’s office, through its Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), worked with the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Department of Justice Grants to partner with BODE Technology to perform Forensic Genetic Genealogy testing which linked Duran to this case.

In November, forensic genealogists, with the assistance of our Crime Strategies Special Agents, narrowed the field of possible suspects to Duran and two of his brothers. The forensic genealogists utilized databases and family tree DNA to find relatives of the unknown DNA collected from the victim’s body to then narrow the field of suspects by building a family tree. Our agents and genealogist also considered the locations where family members may have resided at the time of the offense and whether the family had sons or daughters.

On November 15, 2021 a fork used and discarded by Edward Duran was collected from an Albuquerque restaurant. The fork was sent to BODE Technology for comparison to the DNA evidence taken from the victim’s body and on December 9, 2021 we were informed that the DNA from the fork was a match to Duran.

“The work done by my office, law enforcement, and federal entities helped link Edward Duran to this cold rape case and possibly seven other cold cases throughout Albuquerque which we are still investigating,” District Attorney Raúl Torrez said. “By combining technology and smart investigating, my office was able to link Duran to this crime and bring him into the light. We hope that this victim and others feel a sense of security and closure by today’s arrest and our work to link Duran to his past crime.”

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