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Quest for Daughter's Justice Takes an Unexpected Turn

Mother of murder victim helps clear convicted man and catch new suspect
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2019 10:00 AM CDT
Christopher Tapp smiles at the Bonneville Courthouse in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. At the time, he was released from prison, but the conviction remained on his record.   (Taylor Carpenter/Post Register via AP, Pool)
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(Newser) – Another remarkable crime case involving the field of genetic genealogy has surfaced, but this one out of Idaho comes with a twist. Usually, the technology is used to catch a suspect. This time, in what is believed to be a first, the technology also cleared a man who wrongly served 20 years in prison. The details of the case, which was broken open largely thanks to the diligence of the victim's mother:

  • The crime: In 1998, a jury convicted Christopher Tapp, then 20, of the rape and murder of Angie Dodge, 18, in Idaho Falls, reports the Idaho Statesman. The conviction came even though Tapp was not a match for DNA evidence found at the scene. However, police got a confession after 30 hours of interrogation.
  • Victim's mother: Angie's mother, Carol Dodge, continued poring over details of the case herself. She didn't do so initially because she thought Tapp was innocent but because she believed he must have had an accomplice, because of the non-match of the DNA, per the Marshall Project.

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