GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Green Bay police built family trees, based off of DNA evidence, to identify a suspect in a decades old murder case. Kris Schuller reports science and a lot of hard work has brought justice for 22-year-old murder victim Lisa Holstead – that much closer

At Green Bay police headquarters law enforcement explains what lead them to arrest 65-year-old Lou Archie Griffin.

“These cases are never closed, we never give up,” said Police Chief Andrew Smith.

For the murder of 22-year-old Lisa Holstead, strangled and sexually assaulted 34 years ago.

“The reason why we were able to solve this case was through forensic genetic genealogy,” Smith said.

“From the get go we always had DNA that was recovered from Halstead’s body,” said Detective Dave Graf..

Police say they used DNA from the crime scene and sent it off to an advanced lab, to help develop a family tree of sorts based on that genetic material.

“Using that we were able identify the person’s heritage, where they are from, but also using some of the common websites on there, we were able to identify some relatives,” Graf said.

Armed with this group of possible relatives to the killer, based off crime scene DNA, police searched to see if any lived in Wisconsin and they found one living in Green Bay at the time of the murder, who’d just been released from prison for sexual assault.

“Where he lived at the time, his past history, that really kind of helped us drill down to him,” Graf said.

Living in Racine, Griffin was put under surveillance and DNA from a discarded cigarette and beer cans was collected by police. When compared to DNA from the crime – it was a match. Police soon arrested Griffin on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

“We’re not going to stop, we’re not going give up. We will continue to work for justice as long as it takes,” said Chief Smith.

Gaf says they can find no previous connection between Holstead and Griffin.

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