On September 15, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement worked together to arrest a suspected serial killer. Robert Tyrone Hayes is the suspect in the murder of Rachel Bey and three other Florida women. The murders took place initially in Daytona Beach and then later in Palm Beach County. The teams are still working to uncover if there are any other possible victims. The Daytona Beach murder investigations also remain open.
This arrest followed a lengthy and intense investigation involving the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the FDLE and the State Attorney’s office. When evidence from the crime scene was initially entered into the national DNA database, the connection was made to three murders in Daytona Beach from over a decade ago. Officials then moved to match the DNA from the scene to Hayes through genetics genealogy technology.
Genetic genealogy technology provides leads based on DNA matches to relatives found in the genealogy databases. These matches share DNA with the suspect, and the closer the match, the closer they are related. Currently, there are only two databases that allow law enforcement use: Family Tree DNA and Jedd Match.
“It was the technology that led to the capture of this defendant, but technology doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It also takes cooperation and a partnership. It’s that partnership that we have with law enforcement, especially Sheriff Bradshaw, that helped lead to today,” stated Dave Aronberg, the State Attorney for Palm Beach County. The PBSO, the FDLE and Volusia County law enforcement officials worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth, efficient investigation with a consistent focus on quickly catching Rachel Bey’s killer.
“We will never, ever, ever give up. I don’t care if it’s one year, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, we will keep working every single day, every single hour, until we find those monsters that are out there and that do these things,” said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. With over 50 years in law enforcement, Bradshaw is well-known for his hard work and passion for community safety and has made the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office one of the most technologically advanced and professional law enforcement agencies in the country.
Bradshaw believes that had this suspect not been caught, more women would have been subject to his cruelty. He praises his team, the departments that worked with them, and the technology that helped capture this killer.