Report: Police used DNA info on genealogy websites to track down Golden State Killer suspect

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The man who police say is the Golden State Killer was found using DNA-matching information from genealogy websites, according to the Sacramento District Attorney's office.

The Sacramento Bee, citing Chief Deputy Steve Grippi, reported Thursday that investigators used crime scene DNA and matched it to a relative who was registered on genealogy site and narrowed down possible suspects using that person's family history.

Grippi told CNN that information in the report is "accurate."

An investigation that lasted more than four decades led authorities to Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, who was arrested Tuesday evening in a Sacramento suburb after detectives matched his DNA to evidence from the investigation, police said.

DeAngelo is accused of being the man who killed 12 people and raped more than 50 women in the 1970s and 1980s. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday for two of the slayings in Sacramento County.

Investigators used information stored by websites that accept DNA samples in order to provide information about family histories, the Bee reported.

The detectives would find family trees that appeared to be a match to DNA they had for the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist. The investigators would look at the people listed on the tree and see whether any of them could be a suspect, the newspaper said.

DeAngelo lived in the area where the crimes were committed and was about the right age, the Bee reported.

Detectives matched a discarded DNA sample from his home to DNA evidence from the investigation, authorities said Wednesday.

The Sacramento Bee report didn't say which genealogy websites were involved. Four companies contacted by CNN denied having any connection to the case.