State to let police use familial DNA testing

Posted: Updated:
WOODBURY -

New York has become the latest state to allow authorities to use family DNA to search for crime suspects.

The state Commission on Forensic Science voted 9-2 Friday to approve the measure. 

Critics say the move is unconstitutional, arguing that it violates the Fourth Amendment.

Officials say it gives a powerful tool to police to crack tough cases, like the slaying of 30-year-old Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano. Police collected DNA from the crime scene that did not match samples in state databases.

The Vetrano family became vocal proponents for the policy.

"This is just one of the many gifts that my magnificent daughter will bring forth in this world," Vetrano's mother, Cathy Vetrano, said at a press conference announcing the new policy.

Investigators can now take crime-scene DNA and use to to match up with close relatives to help police track down criminals who may not be in the system themselves.

There is a 45-day public comment period before the policy goes into effect.

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