The New York State Commission on Forensic Science met on December 9 and voted unanimously to direct its DNA Subcommittee to conduct a comprehensive review of familial searching and make a recommendation for New York State.
Vetrano, 30, was found dead near a jogging path in Howard Beach’s Spring Creek Park on August 2. In the weeks following the murder, there were few leads and a lot of frustration from Vetrano’s family and the Howard Beach community.
Brown believes a familial DNA search, which would match DNA from the scene to possible relatives of the killer currently in the state's database, could yield new information.
If the subcommittee recommends the commission make changes regarding the state’s familial search regulations, the change must be published and subject to a 45-day public comment period before they take effect.
The broad search is already used in California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“This tragic murder has been exhaustively investigated using every tool currently available, but it remains unsolved,” Brown said. “The killer remains at large, the public remains in danger, and the suffering of the victim’s family is amplified by law enforcement’s inability to yet solve this most awful crime.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill supports using familial DNA in this case.
“The success of any investigation depends directly on the amount of available evidence and information to assist the detectives,” he said. “Access to existing data sources may provide valuable leads to assist further investigative efforts.”
Vetrano's father also supports using familial DNA testing.
“Just today, Ohio made their first arrest using familial DNA,” said Phil Vetrano on December 7. What does Ohio have that New York doesn't? Familial DNA testing.”