Phoenix Police use new technology to help solve cold case

- It's called Parabon and the tool used is called Snapshot.

"Snapshot is the world's first software application able to predict appearance and ancestry from forensic DNA samples," Steve Armentrout said.

The technology was developed over four years ago and was made available for law enforcement two years ago.

"Snapshot predicts eye color, hair color, skin color, face morphology, freckling and provides very detailed ancestry," Armentrout said.

Detectives on the Baby Skylar case decided to give Snapshot a shot after coming up with zero leads in the case. They used DNA from the mother that was left on the baby.

"Really, what we're trying to get is public participation in saying that looks like so and so," Detective Troy Hillman said. "I believe that woman was pregnant along that time frame."

The technology collects multiple phenotypes and then puts together a composite sketch based on DNA science.

"We then overlay those phenotypes on to a third mesh that's produced by the software and then we used that to create a composite that's then included on the summary page, along with all of the other information," Hillman said.

Though DNA cannot determine the age or weight of someone, the probabilities prove strong in other areas.

"Physically, if you're talking about the difference of light and dark eyes, it's almost 95 percent, it almost never gets anything wrong when you're talking about those extremes," Hillman said.

The detectives hope once this phenotype report comes out they'll get some new information that eventually can lead to an arrest.


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