BOSTON — Too many New England families have waited years, if not decades, for justice.
Traditional law enforcement techniques have, so far, failed to bring justice for the victims or their families.
That’s why in Massachusetts, there is a new push to use DNA technology in a new way, by allowing police to submit unknown DNA samples to commercial ancestry websites, to look for family members of potential suspects, if not the killer himself.
“This is just another tool to give law enforcement a way to find the map to who these criminals are,” Heather Bish, sister of homicide victim Molly Bish told me.
Heather Bish is working on a bill to bring Familial DNA technology to Massachusetts.
“It’s not the same killer that killed Molly Bish and Holly Piirainen and Patty Gonyea,” Bish told me.
“These are all different bad guys. And they are still out there, we haven’t solved these crimes,” she added.
Heather Bish wrote the original Familial DNA bill which is now being edited by the Forensic Oversight Committee. It is expected to be re-filed at the State House next month.
In other states where Familial DNA bills have been proposed, privacy issues are a major concern.
Bish tells me her bill would set up a DNA framework and set protocols for every District Attorney to follow so that Familial DNA testing could only be done in certain cases.
And if there is a Familial DNA match, detectives would still need to do the traditional police work of narrowing down the identity of the likely suspect.
“I want this bill to happen the right way. I don’t want anything to be rushed through,” Bish said.
“I want this to be something that works for the crime labs, and for law enforcement, and for the District Attorneys offices, and for the victim’s families. It’s important to me that It is well thought and well done,” Bish said
It’s not clear if this bill could help find Molly Bish’s killer.
But Heather Bish tells me, that’s beside the point.
She hopes, if this bill becomes law, it will help another Massachusetts family find justice after so many years.
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