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New Find for Woman Who Helped ID Golden State Killer

Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter helps link 2 bodies found in 1998
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2019 2:04 PM CST
Myoung Hwa Cho is shown on a poster provided by the Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Sheriff's Office.   (Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Decades after the unidentified bodies of a woman and a 10-year-old boy were found in separate states beside a Southern interstate highway, investigators now say they were a mother and son and the boy's father has confessed to killing them. The case was cracked thanks to an online DNA database, help from international police, and a consultant whose work led to the arrest in the Golden State Killer investigation, authorities in North Carolina and South Carolina said Tuesday. Investigators had no idea the 1998 cases, separated by 215 miles apart along I-85, were linked until December 2018, reports the AP. That's when consultant Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter matched the boy's DNA to DNA from a close relative who had submitted the information to an online database.

After contacting the relative, investigators learned the boy was Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt, who was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio, Orange County, NC, Sheriff Charles Blackwood said. He also said they were given strong evidence his mother was also dead. Deputies in South Carolina had in May 1998 found an unidentified woman who had been suffocated and whose nude body was dumped in the woods beside I-85. DNA testing confirmed the victims were mother and son. US investigators then enlisted Korean authorities and international police identified the woman as Myoung Hwa Cho. Cho's husband, the boy's father, is serving time in federal prison on unrelated charges. After being questioned several times, police say he confessed to the killings. (Read more on the case here.)


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