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Technician in a forensics lab

Prince George’s County is one of 10 jurisdictions across the country that will receive a $470,000 grant from the Justice Department to reopen cold cases using forensic genetic genealogy — a new investigative technique that draws on privately curated DNA databases from popular genealogy websites to compare with samples collected from crimes.

The funding could help investigators reopen as many as 60 cold cases over the next three years, Prince George’s prosecutors and police said at a news conference Thursday.

“This is just another area where we’re going to make a big difference in Prince George’s County,” county State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said.

There are more than 600 cases of serious and violent crimes in the county in which DNA was collected from the scene but the sample did not generate a match in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, often referred to as CODIS.

The leads ran out, and the cases went cold.

But with this new funding, the county’s cold case task force will be able to spend thousands of dollars reprocessing those DNA samples against data from...

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