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DNA of Nathan O’Brien, grandparents found at accused triple-murderer Doug Garland’s farm: expert

DNA of Nathan O’Brien, grandparents found at accused triple-murderer Doug Garland’s farm: expert
WATCH ABOVE: DNA results were presented in the triple murder trial of Douglas Garland Tuesday, as Nancy Hixt reports, court heard DNA of all three victims was found on the accused killers property.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers might find disturbing. Discretion is advised.

A horrific picture of what transpired at the Garland farm in 2014 is being painted through DNA expert testimony Tuesday.

Court heard DNA of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien as well as DNA belonging to his grandparents, Alvin and Kathy Liknes, was found throughout the Airdrie farm.

Douglas Garland, 57, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in their deaths.

The trio was last seen June 29, 2014 after an estate sale in their southwest Calgary home.

READ MORE: Timeline – Missing Calgary family Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes

Forsensic lab specialist Vivian Mohrbutter works at the RCMP National Forensic Lab in Edmonton. She said DNA belonging to both Nathan and his grandfather was found on a hacksaw, seized from one of the Garland outbuildings.

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A spare blade for the saw also had DNA of Alvin, the expert said.

One by one, Mohrbutter went through items seized by police from the Garland property in July 2014.

A fragment recovered from the burn barrel on the Garland property was matched to the DNA of Alvin, she said.

She added DNA of Kathy was found on two fragments on a piece of cloth discovered near the burn barrel.

Rubber boots found at the entrance to one of the outbuildings had DNA of all three victims, while a light switch inside that building had DNA of Alvin and Kathy.

Mohrbutter also explained DNA of Alvin was found on the shoes seized from Garland when he was arrested.

Read the latest tweets from Nancy Hixt below and scroll down to continue reading today’s article

Earlier Tuesday, the expert witness explained DNA is a genetic blueprint and said “no two individuals have the same DNA.”

Known DNA samples were taken from belongings of all three victims: a toothbrush of Kathy’s, a razor belonging to Alvin and Nathan’s hockey mask and shoes.

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Mohrbutter explained DNA can degrade under high temperatures. It can also be cleaned off of a surface with several types of chemicals, such as RNase Away—a product seized at the Garland farm.

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of Douglas Garland’s murder trial

Court heard Garland’s own DNA was discovered on items found in a black duffel bag, including handcuffs, a knife and sheath.

The expert said DNA of all three victims was found in the blood samples taken throughout the Liknes home.

Areas of Garland’s green Ford F-150 truck were also swabbed: a sample from the truck box and one from behind the licence plate came back as DNA matches to Kathy, court heard.

READ MORE: Douglas Garland triple-murder trial – medical examiner says victims ‘may still have been alive’

The graphic testimony followed another day of disturbing evidence Monday.

An aerial photographer took photos over the Garland property July 1 and 2, 2014 just days after the trio disappeared.

The jury was shown photos taken of the area near the far south outbuildings on the Garland farm and described what appeared to be bodies–one 1.9 metres in size, one 1.7 metres and one 0.7 metres.

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