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Genealogy sites, DNA lead to arrest in 2006 rape of a Miami University student

Butler County investigators used familial DNA to tie 59-year-old Lloyd Wendell Ailes of Indiana to an off-campus rape

December 10, 2021

OXFORD, Ohio (WKRC) - An Indiana man is now in custody, accused of raping a Miami University student back in 2006.

Butler County investigators used familial DNA to tie 59-year-old Lloyd Wendell Ailes of Indiana to an off-campus rape of the student back in January 2006. Experts told Local 12 DNA evidence is critical in serious crimes like rape and murder.

"Over time, the technology has improved the expectations and the storage capacity, so we benefit by increased public safety and getting good evidence of guilt, or lack thereof," said University of Cincinnati criminology professor John Paul Wright.

A company called Parabon, which does DNA testing for families, helped investigators get a match, which led to an indictment. Experts shared how the justice system can use these databases to potentially solve crimes:

"Is it ethical to search through 23andMe or a commercial site? Well, there are criteria that needs to be established for the police to be able to do that. Essentially, a warrant has to be issued and a judge has to sign off. So there are legal safeguards to access that info," said Wright.

In this case, investigators found Ailes' father, then his mother, which eventually led to the match. Experts said using familial DNA to find suspects is a somewhat new approach.

"Tracing a brother of finding a cousin and using that as a lead jump for the person responsible -- I say that's somewhat new, but not unheard of," said Wright.

Prosecutors in Indiana are also working on charges against Ailes. They said his DNA matches DNA found at the scene of separate similar rape in Fayette County two months after the Miami attack.

Genealogy sites, DNA lead to arrest in 2006 rape of a Miami University student | WRGT

OXFORD, Ohio (WKRC) - An Indiana man is now in custody, accused of raping a Miami University student back in 2006. Butler County investigators used familial DNA to tie 59-year-old Lloyd Wendell Ailes of Indiana to an off-campus rape of the student back in January 2006. Experts told Local 12 DNA evidence is critical in serious crimes like rape and murder. Caption: WKRC.
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