"This can open this case open"
This is where things stand at the end of 2018 when Wilkowitz's son asked if she had heard the story of Golden State's killer.
She did not, so he said that earlier that year, authorities accused a former police officer of a series of rapes and killings committed in California between 1974 and 1986.
This case, the first to use investigating genetic genealogy to address violence has sparked a wave of interest in the technique. Parabon, who is not working on the Golden State Killer case, has since helped police solve dozens of murders and rapes led by the company's genetic geneticist, CeCe Moore.
Wilkowitz's son offered to contact Moore. She took the advice and asked Moore in a Facebook message to consider investigating Eve's murder. Moore said he wanted to help, but couldn't because New York wouldn't allow it. She promised to look into the case if Parabon received her permit.
Wilkowitz sent an email to a senior official at the New York State Department of Health confirming what Moore had said.
New York "regulates private forensic DNA companies to ensure that all tests are scientifically valid and performed with appropriate on-site controls," writes Ann Walsh, head of the forensic identity department at Wilkowitz.
Prior to performing the DNA work required for investigative genetic genealogy, a company must obtain a "forensic science" license from the New York State Department of Health. The agency requires permission from all private laboratories looking for "human body test materials for forensic identification" to ensure proper testing, according to Jonah Bruno, a spokesman for the agency. Permits are issued for different testing methods. The process of obtaining the permit is rigorous, requiring regular training, inspections and tests to qualify and hire a qualified laboratory director.
Parabon began seeking permission after the company received a warning from the Department of Health in 201
The company has been trying to meet permit requirements for more than a year, according to Parabon CEO Steven Armentrout. "I think we're close," Armentrout said in an email in October.
The delay frustrates law enforcement and some elected officials, including New York State Senator Phil Boyle, a Republican who represents parts of Suffolk County and wants to remove bureaucratic obstacles to the use of investigative genetic genealogy.
"This works, but for some reason the Ministry of Health is slow to get out of the sign and we are the only state that does not allow it," Boyle
Defense attorneys and personal data protectors said, that they are grateful for the restrictions in New York.
Genetic genealogy relies on the same kind of analysis used in DNA tests for direct users – revealing a great deal about the lineage of people – including adoptions and extra-marital births – and their predispositions to certain health conditions. Critics worry that the government is misusing this information.
Critics also worry that people who have shared their profiles in public databases do not understand that they can be used to arrest a relative. And they are worried about abusing technology by people who are unskilled or unscrupulous.
"It's easy to be like this, it's awful, New Yorkers have no access to justice," and victims feel that way, "said Erin Murphy, a law professor in New York who studies the growing use of DNA testing in the criminal justice system. But the system "plays with fire," treating genetic genealogy "as if it were no big deal," she added.
"There are private companies and government agencies that get access to our genomic material, and we are going blindly forward. I understand the urgency, but we have to pause, "Murphy said.
Moore of Parabon said it was" itching "to work on the Wilkowitz case – assuming there was enough DNA from the suspect for advanced analysis, she said. "However, for a new technology like this, there needs to be a way to speed it up for approval so families don't wait," Moore said. "And it's a matter of public safety."
Beirre said that if investigative genetic genealogy becomes an option, Wilkowitz's case would be but of the first unsolved murders he would like to subject. This is the only cold case he keeps on file in his office. "Genetic genealogy is a tremendous advance, and that can reveal this case," he says.
divorced and her children left Long Island, and she recently moved to Rhode Island to work at a child care center, forcing her to collect her possessions. In her temporary living space, at a friend's home, she holds a frame photo of her and Eve standing on their doorstep in Oakde il, one of their last photos together.
There is a portrait of her family in the storage box long before the murder. There are photos of Eve in different eras, until she was killed. There are bags full of Eve labeled clothing stitched on them, rescued by their mother when they were young children.
These are her sister's only memories.