The Boy in the Box mystery might eventually be solved using DNA. The DOE Network profile on him indicates that DNA was extracted in the 1990s--hopefully an updated DNA test could yield more clues?
Friend and "Ancestry Island" blog reader Bonnie brought up an interesting question the other day about what the genealogy community has to say about using the DNA matches of family members to search for killers. I myself have often wondered if the genetic DNA databases like Ancestry and Family Tree DNA have been used to solve unidentified body cases. Are some of my DNA matches to unidentified dead people?
A Google search revealed that this practice of using the DNA of family members is called "familial DNA searching" (an example of the phrase can be found in the recent AP: Big Story article "Could familial DNA crack case of slain New York City jogger?").
As Bonnie pointed out, DNA databases seem like an obvious place to look but there are legal objections that must also be considered. Forensic genealogy (defined by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy as "genealogical research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications") is the most likely genealogical field to be involved with familial DNA searching.
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) has a page Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decision Makers that includes an overview about familial DNA searching.
Some cases solved with familial DNA searching, plus a pro and con discussion, can be found here at DNA Forensics: News and Information about DNA Databases.
© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.