45 years in prison for assault case solved with genealogy


BELLE FOURCHE (AP) – A man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in a 2012 Butte County case that was solved using forensic genealogy.

Shane Boice, 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree rape as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. Two burglary counts were dropped as part of the agreement.

Prosecutors said Boice had seen the victim outside her home and knew she lived alone. Wearing a mask, Boice broke into the victim's home and sexually assaulted her, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Police tested DNA obtained from the crime scene at the time but found no match within DNA databases.

The police department and South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation continued to investigate the case and in 2018 decided to send a DNA sample to a genetic genealogy company.

The company found individuals in its database who were related to the person who contributed the DNA sample. Investigators found those people had a relative who lived in Belle Fourche at the time, which was Boice.

Officers used DNA from Boice's trash and found it matched the original DNA evidence, officials said.

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