Parabon's Snapshot™ DNA Phenotyping Service Reveals New Clues in 27-Year Old Cold Case

Parabon generates composite image from DNA linked to unsolved murder of April Tinsley

Jul 01, 2015, 10:29 ET from Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.

RESTON, Va., July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Parabon NanoLabs, Inc. announced the company's Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service recently provided the Fort Wayne, Indiana police department with new clues about the April Tinsley murder from DNA evidence linked to the crime.

In April 1988, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, first-grader April Tinsley, went to a friend's house and never returned home.  Three days later, her body was found in a ditch.  Over subsequent years, the killer terrorized the community with written threats against other children.  In 2012, the case was featured on America's Most Wanted.  Despite ongoing efforts of local authorities and FBI, the perpetrator remains at large.

Fort Wayne law enforcement recently employed Snapshot, the latest innovation in forensic DNA analysis, which accurately predicts the physical appearance and ancestry of a DNA source. Unlike traditional DNA profiling, which treats DNA like a fingerprint for identity matching, Snapshot uses DNA as a genetic blueprint from which physical traits can be deciphered. Snapshot's capability to determine the physical appearance of a DNA source allows investigators to generate new leads, narrow the pool of suspects, and direct resources effectively.

"We embrace new technology that helps level the playing field," stated Deputy Chief Paul Shrawder of the Fort Wayne Police Department. "When we became aware of Parabon NanoLabs and learned how Snapshot could assist us in providing investigators with another visual clue in the April Tinsley investigation, it made sense to utilize their expertise." Parabon's CEO, Dr. Steven Armentrout, added "We aim to bring renewed hope to families and friends of crime victims that their loved ones will get justice."

Information regarding this case can be sent to or 1-260-427-1404.

NBC Nightly News presented the Snapshot composite for the Tinsley case as part of a news segment on DNA phenotyping.  NBC producers independently tested Snapshot, submitting as "evidence" a water bottle handled by a volunteer unknown to Parabon.  The resultant Snapshot composite was featured in an interview with television journalist Kate Snow.  Snow "confessed" to Dr. Ellen Greytak, Parabon's Director of Bioinformatics that she drank from the water bottle.   Greytak said, "If Ms. Snow had supplied a DNA sample, we could have used traditional DNA analysis for positive identification and connection to the bottle, but her confession was sufficient for this particular 'investigation'."

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SOURCE Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.