Genetic genealogist helps to solve cases across the nation

CJ Coombs

Lucky for a lot of people that CeCe Moore became interested in genealogy. Moore became a professional DNA ancestry researcher and now works with investigators using advancements in DNA technology to help solve very old cold cases. Moore’s expertise has been helping people across the country.

Moore has a great mission in helping to solve cold cases through the use of genetic genealogy which she now specializes in. Moore is also part of the Parabon NanoLabs’ genetic genealogical unit. Her interviews arouse intrigue. She places value on genetic genealogy, and the logic behind the process makes perfect sense and her credibility has proven itself.

Moore has founded a private Facebook group called DNA Detectives Facebook for adoptees and others who are trying to use DNA to help identify birth families.

Moore and case solving

One of her interesting cases involved Paul Fronczak. In 1964, when he was born in a Chicago hospital, he was kidnapped by someone pretending she was a nurse. Two years later, it was believed that he was located and returned to his biological parents. Through Moore’s adoption research, she learned Paul’s real name was Jack Rosenthal and that he had a twin sister named Jill. In 2019, it was discovered that the real Paul Fronczak was living in Michigan. This was also the subject of a documentary on CNN called The Lost Sons which hopefully can be streamed in the future. The trailer is below.

In 2018, Moore became part of the Parabon NanoLabs to head the genetic genealogy unit. This company uses genetic genealogy to investigate cold cases. In that same year, she was able to solve some of the cases she was working on.

One of Moore’s first cases involving an arrest was in 2018. That arrest involved William Earl Talbott II for murdering Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg in 1987. Although he pled not guilty the following year, he was ultimately sentenced to two life sentences being found guilty of two counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

In 2020, with the help of the Parabon, an arrest was made of James Byrd who was charged with armed kidnapping and sexual battery of a Tampa Bay, Florida woman aged 22 occurring in 1998. They were also able to match his DNA with a couple of other rape cases in 1999.

"The Genetic Detective"

In May 2020, Moore began appearing in a new primetime series on the ABC network called The Genetic Detective. Each show focuses on a cold case that she helped to solve. Hopefully, there is a second season. Moore has also been on other reporting shows like 20/20 and 60 Minutes. Check her out because she is very interesting and articulates her methods that draw you into the mystery involved in solving a cold case. A very interesting interview with Moore can be found on the Family Tree DNA site entitled Genetic Genealogy Interview.

What Is genetic genealogy?

We know DNA is inherited. You read about and see television ads from two popular resources like or biotechnology company,, associated with DNA to learn more about your DNA. These companies are measuring the intricate parts of your genetic code. This process can help trace a part of your past and also show who you might be related to.

If you want to explore your genetic genealogy, consider sites like

From amateurs to professionals, genealogists, historians, researchers, and adoptees have leveraged the large pool of data on the site to build family trees, find birth families, and learn more about their DNA and by extension, their history.


Using genetic genealogy to help solve cold cases

If crime investigators want to use genetic genealogy to help with solving cases, they have to have a DNA sample. While there may already be DNA samples of a lot of cold cases, there might not be any matches in the CODIS database operated by the FBI. Moore, who is a genetic genealogist, can run comparisons of DNA. For example, she might find DNA associated with a killer’s family. It may sound simple, but it is a complicated task requiring a lot of time, research, and investigation.

Another database that focuses on solving cold cases is DNASolves. According to this site, they “combine crowdfunding, volunteered data, and cutting-edge genomics to solve ‘unsolvable’ cases.” This site lists their newest and solved cases. Their energy should be considered since they are chiefly focused on cold cases.

Source: Family Tree DNA; Parabon NanoLabs; GEDmatch

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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