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Arizona Police Find Murder Suspect Using Familial DNA

April 11, 2018  | 

Homicide suspect Ian L. Mitcham was arrested as a result of a familial DNA search. (Photo: Scottsdale PD)
Homicide suspect Ian L. Mitcham was arrested as a result of a familial DNA search. (Photo: Scottsdale PD)

Scottsdale, AZ, police arrested 42-year-old Ian L. Mitcham for the February 2015 murder of Scottsdale resident Allison Feldman. His arrest in Phoenix Tuesday morning marked the culmination of an intense three-year investigation into Feldman's death. A familial DNA search ultimately led to the arrest, according to a Scottsdale, AZ, press release.

On Feb. 18, 2015, a woman soon identified as 31-year-old Allison Feldman was found dead, and her death was quickly determined to be a homicide. A DNA profile was developed from evidence at the scene, but unfortunately no match was found in the current databases.

homicide victim Allison Feldman. Her suspected killer was found using a familial DNA search.
homicide victim Allison Feldman. Her suspected killer was found using a familial DNA search.

In late 2017, Scottsdale detectives began to work with the Arizona Governor’s Office, Arizona State Attorney General’s Office, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Public Safety to expand that forensic search. Our goal was to expand the parameters of the DNA search through the use of Familial DNA. “We were at a point of impasse. We were out of leads and still had a very violent offender on the loose,” said Scottsdale Police Department Assistant Chief Scott Popp.

Familial DNA searches, though not used up to this point in Arizona, have been used successfully in other states in recent years. The process widens the search parameters of the offender data base to identify people that may be close relatives of the person who committed the crime. Using this process, police were able to develop a match, which ultimately led to Mitcham’s arrest.


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