DNA tech helped solve NH cold case

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ALLENSTOWN, N.H. (CNN) New Hampshire police are thanking a new technique developed in a California lab. That's because they say it helped identify victims in a decades-old cold case involving serial killer Terry Rasmussen.

Terry Rasmussen

The bodies of a woman and three children were found in 1985 and 2000 in barrels on the edge of Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire.

Because their hair samples were found in barrels and degraded over time, it made it tough to get identification through typical means.

But scientists at a California lab used a new technique that extracts DNA from a strand of hair that no longer has the DNA-rich root attached.

Back in June, investigators were able to announce their identities.