GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) — Greeley detectives are hoping composite images created using DNA technology will help them solve the “gruesome kidnapping and sexual assault of a child” that happened almost 20 years ago. Investigators say it happened the morning of Sept. 18, 2001, near 5th Avenue on 9th Street in northeast Greeley.

(credit: Parabon Nanolabs)

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Greeley police consulted with Parabon Nanolabs to come up with a phenotype report to predict the physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence. The image above shows what the suspect may have looked like when the attack occurred. Investigators believe he was about 25 at the time.

Police also released an age-progression image of what the suspect may look like now.

(credit: Parabon Nanolabs)

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“At the time, the suspect may have had access to a smaller car; possibly a hatchback the day of the assault,” investigators stated. “The public’s input is vital to the success of this traumatic case.”

Parabon Nanolabs is a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping: the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.

“Using DNA evidence from this investigation, Snapshot produced trait predictions for the associated person of interest (POI). Individual predictions were made for the subject’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, a Snapshot composite was produced depicting what the POI may have looked like at 25 years old and with an average body-mass index (BMI) of 22. These default values were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA,” officials with Parabon Nanolabs stated.

“It is important to note that Snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA, and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance. Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors — e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. — cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subject’s predicted and actual appearances,” officials added.

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Tips can be forwarded to Greeley Police detective Robert Cash at (970) 350-9601.