DNA, family tree help solve 52-year-old Seattle murder case

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle police have solved a murder from nearly 52 years ago with the help of DNA and a family tree — a method investigators are increasingly using to crack cold cases.

Susan Galvin was a 20-year-old police records clerk. She was found raped and strangled in a parking garage elevator in 1967. One potential suspect — a professional clown — was cleared by DNA evidence in 2016.

Last year, the department hired a private lab which entered the killer’s DNA into a public genealogy database. An analyst found ancestors of the killer, created a family tree and identified a possible suspect as Frank Wypych, a former soldier who died in 1987.

Police said Tuesday they exhumed his remains earlier this year to collect DNA and confirmed it matched. They’re investigating whether he may have killed anyone else.