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I remember well when the boy’s body was found, the first months there was lots of coverage but no suspects were found then over the years the case faded into obscurity. But thanks to modern DNA the killer has been identified.

Man to spend rest of life behind bars for killing wife, boy whose remains were found under Mebane billboard

Hillsborough, N.C. — A man charged with killing his son and dumping his body under a Mebane billboard will spend the rest of his life in prison for the crime and for killing the boy's mother.

John Russell Whitt, 57, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts each of second-degree murder and concealing a death. He was sentenced to 26 to 32 years for each murder, to be served consecutively after he completes a stint in federal prison for robbery in 2037.

Whitt said he is "in heartbroken sorrow" over the killings and begged forgiveness from his former wife's family. He said he's haunted by their murders and even tried to commit suicide in prison in 2001.
https://www.wral.com/man-to-spend-rest-of-life-behind-bars-for-killing-wife-boy-whose-remains-were-found-under-mebane-billboard/18888831/
 

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That DNA cold case stuff is fascinating.

Eleven years ago, my daughter was only a few years out of law school and she was an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney. As second chair for the prosecution, she helped win what was at the time the oldest cold case conviction base on DNA evidence ever. There have since been older ones.

A guy had raped and killed an 88 year old woman in 1975. A mentally challenged guy was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent quite a while in a mental institution before he got out. My daughter's cold case found out that another guy, whose DNA was on record from an unrelated case, matched and he was sent away for life, after 30+ years thinking he had gotten away with it.
 

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I applaud all the innovation going on in the world of DNA mining and analysis for cold cases. Many innocent folks have been set free based on DNA advancements, and many guilty parties are being put behind bard that should have been there long ago.

Having said that, make sure you know the risks when you share your DNA information with all of these "ancestry" services that are out there. They WILL give law enforcement access to that information if they need to. They are catching many guilty parties because people they are related to have given their information to these services. If you are guilty of a crime with DNA evidence, and one of your close relatives has given their DNA info to one of these services, law enforcement WILL be coming for you eventually...
 

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I applaud all the innovation going on in the world of DNA mining and analysis for cold cases. Many innocent folks have been set free based on DNA advancements, and many guilty parties are being put behind bard that should have been there long ago.

Having said that, make sure you know the risks when you share your DNA information with all of these "ancestry" services that are out there. They WILL give law enforcement access to that information if they need to. They are catching many guilty parties because people they are related to have given their information to these services. If you are guilty of a crime with DNA evidence, and one of your close relatives has given their DNA info to one of these services, law enforcement WILL be coming for you eventually...
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