2018 DNA Hit of the Year

The 2018 DNA Hit of the Year was announced at the Human Identification Solutions (HIDS) Conference in Rome, Italy. This year’s selected case is from the Avon and Somerset Constabulary in the United Kingdom. 
 

UNITED KINGDOM MURDER CASE SELECTED AS 2018 DNA HIT OF THE YEAR
 
The thirty-year investigation of the Melanie Road murder case solved through dedicated police investigation and familial DNA matching
 
Rome, Italy, May 4, 2018 – Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs (GTH-GA) has announced that the Melanie Road murder case investigated by the Avon Somerset Constabulary (United Kingdom) was selected as the 2018 DNA Hit of the Year. The case was selected from 61 cases submitted from 14 countries. It was chosen by a panel of seven international judges with career backgrounds in forensic DNA. The recognition was announced during the annual Human Identification Solutions (HIDS) Conference held in Rome, Italy.
 
Now in its second year, the DNA Hit of the Year program is organized by GTH-GA, an international authority on DNA database policy, legislation, and law. “The 2018 slate of cases exemplifies a growing reliance by police to aggressively and creatively pursue DNA database solutions to solve and prevent crime,” said Tim Schellberg, GTH-GA’s President.
 
Judges selected the United Kingdom case from six finalists. The five runner-up cases were from Montenegro, China, and three from the United States. A full list of submitted cases and a presentation on this year’s selected case and other case highlights can be found at http://www.dnaresource.com/ hitoftheyear-2018.html
 
Melanie Road of Bath, United Kingdom was murdered on June 9, 1984. For nearly thirty years, police continuously pursued DNA strategies to solve the crime. The case was ultimately solved when the daughter of the murderer was placed into the United Kingdom DNA database for a minor crime. A few months later, a familial search identified the offender and resulted in his arrest and conviction.
 
Avon Somerset Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “Solving the murder of Melanie Road has meant so much not just to Melanie’s family, but to the wider community as well as the policing community. In the end it was the advancements in forensic DNA technology as well as the determination, commitment and hard work of our officers that solved the case.”
 
“Being selected as the 2018 Hit of the Year is a great honor and a reminder of the power of DNA databases to bring justice to victims and their families. It is also a testament to the professionalism of all who have worked on the investigation over the years,” said Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

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