Georgia uses ancestry site to identify alleged killer in 20-year-old cold case murder

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office/ Family photo

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office/ Family photo

For more than 20 years investigators had no idea who killed Lorrie Ann Smith.

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But they had blood and DNA from the crime scene. And that turned out to be the key evidence.

For the first time ever in Georgia, police used an ancestry site to match DNA and arrest a suspect.

Smith was killed May 25, 1997, inside her South Fulton County home. According to police, the killer -- identified as Jerry Lee -- lived less than a half-mile from Smith.

Lee was in court Tuesday for a bond hearing.

During the hearing investigators revealed new details about the crime.

When police searched his home, they found a gun that matched the ballistics of the murder weapon but defense attorneys pointed out that wasn't relevant to the bond hearing.

"What we’re here for now today is not for punishment, but to determine will this gentleman return to court? We believe that, between giving you the assurance of the ankle monitor and his history in the community, that he will certainly return to court," defense attorney Fani Willis said.

The victim's family wants Lee to remain behind bars.

"He is so close to where my parents live and he has lived there the entire time. We're really hoping he's not granted bond," the victim's sister, Dana Bogensch, said.

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