Charlie Buttrey

November 23, 2019

On May 6, 1997, a man dragged a woman into a secluded area as she walked to a BART station in Union City, Calif., and sexually assaulted her. Four months later, the same person assaulted a second woman while she was walking near Livermore High School in Livermore, Calif. DNA samples collected in both cases matched each other, but law enforcement was unable to identify a suspect at the time.

Fast forward 22 years.

Using genealogical databases that have emerged recently as more and more people (this blogger included) have sent their DNA to various sites to discover their ethnic heritage, Livermore detectives were recently able to connect the old DNA samples to a relative. That match prompted an investigation which led to new leads and extensive surveillance.

And it was when he went to Baskin-Robbins that Gregory Paul Vien, 60, of Livermore made his final mistake. After enjoying his treat (the news article does not specify what flavor he ordered), Vien discarded the spoon. Police seized it, and the DNA on the spoon was a match to the DNA collected from the two victims.

Viens has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault.

I bet he wishes he’d ordered a cone.

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