SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - For more than 20 years, investigators had no idea who killed Lorrie Ann Smith.
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.
Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes was in court Tuesday as Lee appeared for a bond hearing.
This is the FIRST case in GA where police used an ancestry site to match unknown DNA from a murder scene & made a match. Investigators say Jerry Lee’s relative used the ancestry site, & that’s how they connected Jerry Lee Sr to the case pic.twitter.com/KDEiKTGke3— Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) December 11, 2018
During Lee’s bond hearing on Tuesday, we got some new information.
When police searched his home, they found a gun that matches 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," said defense attorney Fani Willis.
The victim's family wants him 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," said the victim's sister Dana Bogensch.
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