In the past year genetic genealogy has gained momentum as a tactic to solve violent crimes and identify human remains. Most of the cases solved had been cold for years, when all other investigative efforts had proven inadequate. In genetic genealogy the potential exists to close previously unsolvable cases where biological evidence is available; whether that be to exonerate the innocent or identify the perpetrators.
Law enforcement, victims of violent crimes, families of murder victims and the community as a whole has just suffered a devastating set back as the public genealogy DNA database GEDMatch has become unavailable for use by law enforcement. Whether or not this is a temporary setback or something more permanent depends on everyone who has already uploaded a DNA profile to the public database and how future uploads are handled.
There has been much discussion lately about law enforcement using public DNA databases that consumers use for genealogy. In the past, law enforcement was limited to their own databases of DNA profiles. Since law enforcement already has their own databases that contain DNA profiles what is the big deal? What purpose do genealogy databases serve for law enforcement if they already have their own databases?