The Queens district attorney has asked the state to approve a new type of DNA analysis in an effort to solve the case of a jogger found slain in Howard Beach in August.
“This tragic murder had been exhaustively investigated using every tool available, but it remains unsolved,” District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a letter to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Brown asked that the division’s Commission on Forensic Science approve the use of what is known as “familial searching,” which is in use in nine other states.
The state had no immediate comment on the letter, which was dated Wednesday and made public Thursday morning by Brown.
Familial searching uses probability rankings and analysis of the Y chromosome to identify people already in the state DNA database who are relatives of the unknown suspect.
Once relatives are identified, police can use traditional investigative techniques to develop reasonable suspicion and then retrieve a DNA sample from a person of interest.
Brown said DNA recovered from the female victim was that of a single male, but the DNA profile did not match any known offenders in databanks.
Philip Vetrano, the father of slain jogger Karina Vetrano, 30, told Newsday last month that he was astonished to learn it is not used in New York and promised to raise the issue with police and government officials.
Officials told Newsday at the time that there is ambiguity in state laws and regulations governing DNA testing.
A spokesman for Brown said the Commission on Forensic Science was the proper body to address the issue.
“They have the purview because they are the body charged with supervising DNA labs and operations in New York State,” spokesman Kevin Ryan said.
With Anthony M. DeStefano