Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis commended the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Genetic Genealogy Team whose efforts led to the arrest of suspected serial Killer Robert Tyrone Hayes.

On Sunday, September 15th, Robert Hayes was arrested and charged with the March 2016 murder of 32-year-old Rachel Bey of Riviera Beach. Genetic genealogy was the investigative tool that identified Hayes as the killer. There are strong indications that Hayes is also responsible for the murder of three women in Daytona Beach, one in 2005 and two in 2006. That investigation remains ongoing.

“I commend FDLE’s Genetic Genealogy Team for their efforts to support law enforcement investigations to get this suspected serial killer off the streets and out of our communities,” said Governor DeSantis. “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is a national leader in using the power of genetic genealogy to solve cases and deliver justice to victims and their families. We will continue to support and grow this program, which is helping law enforcement solve cold case homicides and sexual assaults.”

“This is an important case for FDLE, our law enforcement partners, and for our Florida citizens and visitors,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “Killers like Hayes are the reason genetic genealogy is so important to public safety and why Florida has worked to become a national leader in this investigative technique. Today, Florida is safer because of this arrest.”

About FDLE’s Genetic Genealogy Program

Nearly a year ago, FDLE created a genetic genealogy program to help Florida law enforcement agencies solve cold case homicides and sexual assaults. FDLE is a national leader using the power of genetic genealogy to solve cases with four suspects identified to date.

Florida is the only state with a genetic genealogy team at the state level. This specialized team includes experts in genetic genealogy, analytical research, forensics and investigative skills.



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