14 years after a sexual assault in Tampa, a man has been charged with rape because he entered his own DNA into a genealogy database

  • Police in Tampa Bay used genealogy testing websites to find a suspect in a 14-year-old rape case.
  • Officers used the websites GEDmatch and FamilyTree to find a DNA match in the cold case.
  • “The victim now can have some closure in her life,” assistant police chief Ruben Delgado said.

Police detectives in Tampa Bay said they have arrested a suspect in a 14-year-old rape case after using the database of a genealogy testing website to match DNA evidence.

“The victim now can have some closure in her life,” assistant Tampa police chief Ruben Delgado said.

According to police reports, the rape took place in 2007 when a University of Tampa student was walking back to her dorm after attending the popular Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

The victim told detectives she was intoxicated and may have been stumbling around when the suspect, Jared Vaughn, offered to walk her to her dorm where he proceeded to rape her.

DNA evidence was collected at the time but did not find any matches, and the case remained unsolved for more than a decade. In 2020, however, detectives revisited the case and began to search genealogy testing databases, including GEDmatch and FamilyTree, two services often used by people who are researching their ancestry, to find potential matches.


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