Chelsea Rustad Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Height, Report, Fast Facts

Chelsea Rustad Wiki, Biography

In 2015, Chelsea Rustad, a resident of Tumwater, Washington, used a decades-old Halloween photo of herself to enter an Ancestry DNA contest, won a DNA “spit kit,” and used it to create an open website called GEDmatch. Detectives later used Rustad’s DNA to connect crime scene evidence to her cousin, trucker William Earl Talbott II.

After that, Talbott was convicted on two counts of murder in a decade-old case involving a Canadian couple. He was sentenced to life in prison in June 2019, making him the first person to be convicted as a result of a genealogical investigation.

CBS 48 Hours chronicles the bizarre story of Chelsea Rustad in an episode titled A Killer in the Family Tree. The official synopsis for the episode, which was originally released on November 20, 2021, reads:

“When a woman uploads her DNA to a genealogy website, the authorities show up at her door. Is there a double murderer in her family tree?”

This article will delve into the investigation that led to the arrest of William Earl Talbott II using Chelsea Rustad’s DNA.

Chelsea Rustad’s search for her family roots helped investigators crack a decades-old cold case.

In 2013, Chelsea Rustad, 31, used the internet to create a family tree and learn more about her family history, learning that her roots stretched from Washington state to North Dakota and back to Norway.

Rustad’s search led her to connect with many distant relatives and even contact a family of her second cousins who lived in Snohomish County. It was then that she first encountered the name of her cousin’s brother William Earl Talbott II, who believed that she had a strange lifestyle from the beginning. She reportedly told CBS that:

“The most striking thing about him would be the absence of him. He doesn’t have a social media presence. He doesn’t have Facebook. He doesn’t have Instagram. He doesn’t have Twitter. He doesn’t have YouTube.”

Two years later, Chelsea Rustad entered an Ancestry DNA contest to submit a photo of herself when she was five years old. She dressed up as a ballerina for Halloween and won a free home DNA test kit, the results of which confirmed her ancestry.

Later, Ella Rustad posted her raw DNA from the kit on a website called GEDmatch, where users can share her results in an open database. However, she was unable to find any new family members, a situation that soon changed after cold case detectives used the same DNA profile of hers to link her to a killer who had been evading justice for decades.

Chelsea Rustad’s distant cousin, William Earl Talbott II, was behind the murders of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and Jay Cook in 1987.

Years ago, in 1987, the bodies of Tanya Van Cuylenborg and Jay Cook were discovered in two different counties in Washington state after the couple went missing while traveling from British Columbia to Seattle. Tanya was reportedly raped before being shot in the head, while Jay was beaten and strangled to death. At that time, foreign DNA samples from the semen found on Tanya’s clothing were collected for further investigation.

Authorities were left in the dark for about two decades after the sample matched no one in the police database. The case remained unsolved for years. However, in 2018, investigators decided to use genetic genealogy to locate DNA samples that were identical to the one recovered from the crime scene.

Subsequent research on the DNA concluded that it was genetically similar to two samples already in the system. One of those samples belonged to Chelsea Rustad, which eventually led authorities to her second cousin, William Earl Talbott II. The latter’s DNA perfectly matched that from the crime scene, who was found guilty of two counts of murder and sentenced to two life sentences.

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The Estimated Net worth is $80K – USD $85k.

Monthly Income/Salary (approx.)$80K – $85k USD
Net Worth (approx.)$4 million- $6 million USD