Clackamas Co. man misidentified as possible suspect in ‘Golden State Killer’ case

Deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff's crime scene investigation office, conference about boxes of evidence gathered from the home of murder suspect Joseph DeAngelo (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli).

Investigators trying to hunt down the so-called Golden State Killer used information from genetic websites a year ago and misidentified an elderly Oregon man as a possible suspect.

Court records obtained by The Associated Press show that in March 2017 investigators in Clackamas County, Oregon, convinced a judge to order the 73-year-old man to provide a DNA sample.

The documents said they used a genetic profile based off DNA from crime scenes linked to the serial killer and compared it to information from genealogical websites. They created a family tree and used public records to identify the Oregon man.

Investigators also cited a rare genetic marker, which the Oregon man shared with the killer, to get the judge to issue the order.

Earlier this week, police say they arrested the right man for a dozen killings and 50 rapes from 1976 to 1986. He is Joseph DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer who lived in the Sacramento area.

DeAngelo, a former police officer, was arraigned Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court on two counts of murder.

He was handcuffed in a wheelchair and five police officers surrounded him as he listened to the judge with his eyes barely open.

A court official read the details of the charges that DeAngelo is facing and a judge asked if he had a lawyer.

In a frail voice, DeAngelo responded, "I have a lawyer." An attorney from the public defender's office was with him in court.

DeAngelo was denied bail.

Investigators said they matched crime-scene DNA with genetic material stored online by a distant relative of DeAngelo. From there, they narrowed the search down to the Sacramento-area grandfather using DNA obtained from an item he discarded, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.