Arrest made in 5-year-old homicide case using genetic genealogy

Crime

David Lee Blair (Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office)

PASQUOTANK COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — DNA testing has led to an arrest in a five-year-old homicide case in Pasquotank County.

Authorities arrested David Lee Blair, 55, on Tuesday at his home in Winston-Salem and charged him in connection with the stabbing death of 74-year-old George Washington Price on March 24, 2016.

Price was found dead in his Elizabeth City home with multiple stab wounds.

According to a news release from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s (SBI) Northeastern District and the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office, investigators used genetic testing to find a link between Price’s death and Blair.

“While the joint investigation remained a priority for investigators over the past several years,
there wasn’t sufficient information to solve the crime,” the news release reads.

Last October, the sheriff’s office and State Bureau of Investigation approached Parabon NanoLabs for help. The DNA technology company is based in Virginia.

Law enforcement across the country uses Parabon’s Snapshot DNA Analysis Service to aid investigations when other DNA methods cannot find a match. The service uses “advanced DNA testing in combination with innovative genetic analysis, sophisticated identification techniques and traditional genealogical methods to establish the relationship between an individual and his/her ancestors.”

After finding a link through that service, authorities strengthened the case through other “traditional police work.”

Blair was booked Tuesday into the Forsyth County Detention Center without bond.

“The SBI is always looking for innovative ways to serve the people of North Carolina. We understand the role of technology in solving cases and bringing closure to families who’ve suffered tragic losses. We commend the hard work of the investigators with the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office and the SBI agents who never gave up,” said SBI Director Robert Schurmeier.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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