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DNA analysis links Alabama serial rapist musician to “horrific’ attacks.

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Elijah DeWitt's family claims they have filed a lawsuit against the Gwinnett County mall where he was fatally shot. DeWitt played high school football player in Georgia. (Photo by Getty Images)

DNA analysis links Alabama serial rapist musician to “horrific’ attacks. Renowned French horn player Elliott Higgins, a serial rape suspect, established a music camp in New Mexico.


Alabama serial rapist musician tied to 'horrifying' attacks through DNA research

When a renowned French horn player was accused earlier this month of being a serial rapist after genetic genealogy research linked him to several crimes across the country, the scandal rocked the U.S. French horn community (Photo via


The controversy that rocked the United States earlier this month involved a renowned French horn player who was charged with being a serial rapist after genetic genealogy research connected him to many crimes across the nation. French horn neighborhood.

Elliott Higgins‘ spotless reputation, however, was turned upside down earlier this month when Tuscaloosa law enforcement and genetic genealogists connected Higgins’ DNA to at least three rapes and sexual assaults that occurred in Alabama and Colorado between 1991 and 2004.

The case was deemed “unusual” by CeCe Moore, chief genetic genealogist at Parabon NanoLabs, because Higgins had “no evident ties to the area” of the murders he committed.


Elliott Higgins came to Alabama twice for a horn competition. Years after his death, he’s linked to 2 sexual assaults spanning 10 years.

Elliott Higgins came to Alabama twice for a horn competition. Years after his death, he’s linked to 2 sexual assaults spanning 10 years. (Courtesy Tuscaloosa County Violent Crimes Unit)


Because my colleagues and I are all mothers, middle-aged women with kids, and our children have attended a variety of camps, lessons, and activities, it was shocking to find that he was active in children’s music, camps, and contests. To think that a person like this man could have access to kids when the circumstances called for it is very awful.

Higgins, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 73, was a dedicated husband, the father of one daughter, the artistic director of the Albuquerque Philharmonic, and the founder of the music camp his family established.

His daughter, Amber Higgins, told The Wall Street Journal that her father was “kind, committed, and looked to be kind and morally upstanding.” I have been struggling to understand how he could have had this other person concealed inside of him.


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Investigators say DNA and genetic genealogy research pointed to Elliott Higgins, who died in 2014, as the suspect in three cold cases. (Photo via


While the victims are constantly in mind when examining DNA in a violent criminal case, Moore added that researchers frequently take the suspect’s family into account as well.

We are quite aware of the terrible effects on the victims’ families, she added, adding that this is why we are working so hard. Yet it’s crucial to remember that the suspect’s family will also be devastated when they discover about what their loved one was capable of.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) had been accumulating evidence to support a case for two decades, but needed assistance in determining which DNA evidence in all three sexual assault cases that took place in El Paso County, Colorado, and Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, belonged to the same suspect.

The chief of the TCSO Violent Crimes Section, Capt. Jack Kennedy, told WSJ that Higgins was allegedly armed in each of the three alleged incidents. In 1991, Higgins allegedly raped a University of Alabama student at knifepoint, and in 2001, he allegedly conned a real estate agent into showing him a home. In 2004, Higgins allegedly sexually abused a lady at gunpoint after she answered to an ad in the newspaper for a wedding dress for sale before she resisted him and called the police.


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“We had so much data on this case, and we still couldn’t identify this man,” Kennedy told the Wall Street Journal.

To establish the necessary link for a potential arrest, the police got in touch with Parabon, and they discovered that Higgins had passed away some eight years before.

Six days had passed between the time Moore revealed Higgins’ identify to law enforcement and the time Parabon obtained a list of matches for the DNA in the case. In a matter of days, Moore was able to connect the suspect to Higgins’ second cousin once removed on one side of the family and second cousin on the other.

While second cousin on one side and second cousin on the other isn’t quite the jackpot, Moore said it’s still a great result. We all have unique genealogies, except for our full siblings, so if we can develop a very high confidence hypothesis—if we can connect to both sides of someone’s genealogy—those are really optimal cases. If we can connect to both of someone’s parents, it’s limited to them and any same-sex siblings.

But, she clarified that when Parabon draws a connection between DNA and a person, it is “simply an investigative lead.” Law enforcement is in charge of the remainder.

It’s not evidence against anyone, according to Moore. So, the law enforcement agency must do a thorough investigation, just as they would on any other tip, such as if I had contacted Crime Stoppers with the name, for example.


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The International Horn Competition of America which Higgins founded, released a statement on February 7 naming police officers in connection with crimes Higgins named.

No one in the organization currently or historically had any information (suggested, actual, or otherwise) that would have caused Elliott Higgins to admit to ongoing criminal activity, according to the statement. “Everyone in the organizational structure of the International Horn Competition of America is currently or historically shocked by the news of Elliott Higgins’ crimes,” it said.