On July 31, 1999, seventeen-year-olds J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett went out to celebrate J.B.’s birthday by going to a party near their Dothan, Alabama homes. When they did got lost however they decided to stop at an Ozark BP gas station for directions. Tracie phoned her mother at 11:30pm and let her know that they got lost and were in Ozark. The lady that was working at the gas station gave the girls directions back to Dothan. Nobody has seen them alive since.
The next morning at 9am their J.B. and Tracie’s body were found in the trunk of their car. Someone had forced them to a remote location, forced them to perform sexual acts on them, and then shot them in the head. This was located only a mile away from the convenience store they stopped for directions at. Both girls were clothed, but dirty. Semen was found at the scene, allowing investigators to collect a DNA sample of the perpetrator. Robbery was easily ruled out as both girls still had their purses and jewelry.
Solved. In March of 2019, 45 year old Coley McCraney was arrested and charged with J.B. and Tracie’s murders. DNA found on their bodies was matched to McCraney through genetic genealogy. Investigators submitted the DNA profile from the crime scene to a genealogical database. They were then able to locate McCraney by mapping his family tree and identifying his relatives. A similar method was used to capture Joseph DeAngelo the Original Night Stalker. McCraney is from Ozark and lived in Dothan prior to his arrest. He had no criminal record and was not considered a suspect prior to the DNA match. McCraney served time in the military, worked as a truck driver, owned a church, and is married. He also went to school in Ozark and would have been 26 at the time of the murders. This man was not on the radar at all.
He got sued in a child paternity test in 1998 and failed to show up for two DNA tests. He eventually just decided to pay child support.