A forensic expert admitted that she almost ruled out an accused murderer when she looked at a handprint on his head.
Angela Hilliard, a state laboratory analyst for Washington, initially concluded William Talbott II as a handprint match found on a bronze van that belonged to the suspect accused of murdering a young couple in 1987.
Hilliard blamed & # 39; being human & # 39; on the historic error while being grilled by the public defender Rachel Forde on Tuesday.
Angela Hilliard, a state laboratory analyst for Washington, closed William Talbott II as a match for a handprint found on a bronze van that belonged to the suspect accused of murdering a young couple in 1987
Hilliard blamed & # 39; being human & # 39; on the historic error while being grilled by the public defender Rachel Forde on Tuesday
But now after further analysis, she believes that the suspect's handprint can be.
& # 39; Unfortunately, it is because I am human, & # 39;
& # 39; Sometimes you don't see things the moment you evaluate and look, and you can search and search and search, and sometimes you just can't find it.
& # 39; My original opinion was wrong, and the new information and data showed that the information was indeed present. & # 39;
The testimony comes from the trial of William Talbott II, accused of the murder of Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) and Jay Cook (20), a couple who disappeared and died during a trip to the Seattle area in November 1987 found.
Police say that Washington state Talbott was killed by the same genealogical technology that led to the capture of suspected & # 39; Golden State Killer & # 39; Joseph James DeAngelo.
The testimony comes in the midst of the trial against William Talbott II, who is accused of the murder of Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) and Jay Cook (20), a couple who disappeared and was killed during a trip to the Seattle area in November 1987 found it.
Talbott, a truck driver based in Seattle, was accused of the first-degree murder of Canadian couple Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18 (left), and Jay Cook, 20, who died during a trip to Seattle
William Earl Talbott II goes to court in the Skagit County Community Justice Center before pleading for the murder of Tanya Van Cuylenborg in 1987 in Mount Vernon, Washington
Two graves of aggravated first-degree murder were filed against Talbott in Washington & # 39; s Snohomish County Superior Court on June 15, 2018.
The authorities said they discovered Talbott's alleged connection with the murders of Van Cuylenborg and Cook after working with a genealogist who used information from GEDMatch, who collects DNA profiles from public genealogy websites and linked them to the DNA of the crime scene .
At the time of the Canadian couple's death, Talbott would work as a delivery person in Seattle. His route took him through a part of the city that the couple had wanted to visit, according to legal documents.
Rachel Forde, defense attorney, shows a proof bag with a palm print during her cross-examination of forensic scientist Angela Hilliard of Washington state during
Police said that Cook and Van Cuylenborg drove their van from Saanich, British Columbia on the night of November 18, 1987, their van to the Seattle area, at home on a short overnight trip.
Van Cuylenborg & # 39; s body was found a week later, on November 24, in a ditch in rural Skagit County, Washington, with a subsequent investigation and found evidence that she had been raped and then shot, & # 39; execution style & # 39 ,, less than five centimeters away. An autopsy determined that she was killed on November 19.
Cook & # 39; s body was found on November 26, 50 miles away from Van Cuylenborg's body. He was covered with a blue blanket and detectives said he was strangled and beaten to death with stones.
Snohomish County Cold Case Detective Jim Scharf, right, shares details of the unsolved case of the 1987 double murder of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg, at a press conference in Everett,
Former Bellingham Police Sgt. David Richards holds up Tanya Van Cuylenborg's identification card during the William Talbott II trial for double murder
Cook and Van Cuylenborg were said to be random targets.
All potential leads in the double homicide case had long been absent until the DNA evidence of the 32-year-old crime scene was placed in a public genealogy database named GEDmatch.
The database, checked by a company called Parabon NanoLabs, consisted of DNA samples from 100 crime scenes and was able to find matches with people determined to have family ties with potential suspects.
Police say that Washington state Talbott was killed by the same genealogical technology that led to the capture of suspected & # 39; Golden State Killer & # 39; Joseph James DeAngelo
& # 39; The significant races were roughly at the level of the second cousin, & # 39; Paralo genealogist CeCe Moore said to reporters at a press conference after Talbott & # 39; s arrest.
Moore had to establish a family home of the great-grandparents of people whose DNA profiles matched evidence found at the crime scene.
She then looked into the descendants of these people and discovered that the pedigrees came together on a couple who had only one son: William Earl Talbott II.
Armed with this knowledge, the police placed Talbott under surveillance. When a paper cup fell off his truck at the beginning of May, she wiped it off and sent it for DNA testing.
Deputy Prosecutor Justin Harleman gives the opening speech in William Talbott II & # 39; s trial for double murder
Talbott's coffee cup DNA would have been a match with the DNA that was collected three decades ago in the Canadian murder scenes. Talbott had not been a suspect in the murders prior to his arrest.
Cook's sister, Laura Baanstra, later told Buzzfeed News that she is hopeful that her family will eventually be closed after waiting 31 years.
& # 39; Detection traffic has certainly come to an end in 30 years & # 39 ;, Baanstra added.
Deputy prosecutors Matt Baldock and Justin Harleman talk during the trial
William Talbott II represents the start of the trial in the Snohomish County Courthouse
Since the arrest of Talbott, ex-friends have surfaced telling the authorities that they are recalling Talbott that year, including a former roommate who said he saw a car, such as Cook and Van Cuylenborg's bronze Ford Club Wagon – who had taken the killer – at Talbott & # 39; s. parental home in 1987. The van was later found in Bellingham, Washington.
If he is convicted of the murders, Talbott will face life in prison.
So-called Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo, suspected of committing more than 50 rapes and a dozen murders in the & # 39; 70 and & # 39; 80, was arrested in April 2018 after authorities using GEDMatch were able to DNA match the crime scene with publicly available DNA. . A family link eventually led to DeAngelo.
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