Serial-Rapist DNA Test Leads Cops to Twins

So Marseille police are ordering unusual genetic test
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2013 5:05 PM CST
A DNA test in progress.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Police in the French city of Marseille relied on DNA evidence to arrest a serial rapist accused of attacking six women, the Telegraph reports. Only problem: His DNA nearly matches his twin brother's, so police hauled them both in. And the victims, unable to tell them apart, positively identified both brothers. So officials are ordering a sophisticated $1 million DNA analysis to genetically differentiate the 24-year-old brothers. Instead of looking at 400 base pairs of nucleotides, this test will analyze billions.

But one specialist warns that "the process not fully developed and remains confined to research laboratories." Identified as Yohan and Elwin, the suspects deny having raped the women, aged 22 to 76, in the stairwells or entrance halls of buildings. But police say video footage on a bus and a traced telephone led them to the two unemployed deliverymen, who live together in a working-class neighborhood. "They are real identical twins, nothing really distinguishes them, and they repeatedly use and lean on the fact that they are twins," says a source in the case. (Read more DNA evidence stories.)

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