Monthly Archives: February 2016

Grim Sleeper serial killer trial to begin, years after slayings terrorized South L.A.

Familial HelixLos Angeles- Debra, a waitress, was discovered shot in the chest three decades ago in an alley. The body of 25-year-old Janecia was found in a dumpster in 2007. There were at least eight other women. And one who got away.

Join us at AAFS this coming week!

Win a pd trip to ISHIBe sure to join us during the AAFS Meeting.
Location: Rio-All Suite Hotel, Pavillion 7 Room
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Time: 6:30–8:30pm
The evening will include food and drink, as well as an opportunity to win fabulous prizes, including the grand prize of a paid trip to the 27th International Symposium on Human Identification.
Drawings will be held at: 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm
You must be present to win.
View more information on Promega’s Genetic Identity Product Line
Looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas at AAFS!

Iowa Attorney General’s Office launches rape kit audit

Blue Helix4CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has launched a statewide audit of untested rape kits Tuesday, surveying more than 400 of Iowa’s law enforcement agencies to gauge how many of these kits are in Iowa.

Cold cases could be solved thanks to grant for SHSU researchers

body outlineThe grant allows Dr. Sheree Hughes-Stamm and her colleague Dr. Bruce Budowle from the University of North Texas to investigate the best methods for extracting DNA from badly decomposed remains through a process called next generation DNA sequencing.

DNA evidence uncovers major upheaval in Europe near end of last Ice Age

Human skull1DNA evidence lifted from the ancient bones and teeth of people who lived in Europe from the Late Pleistocene to the early Holocene – spanning almost 30,000 years of European prehistory – evidence shows a major shift in the population around 14,500 years ago, during a period of severe climatic instability.

Law Enforcement Agencies to Submit Untested DNA Kits

DNA TestsRICHMOND, VA (NEWSPLEX) — Attorney General Mark Herring’s Office and the Virginia Department of Forensic Sciences are moving forward with plans to test thousands of sexual assault evidence and physical evidence recovery kits.
Virginia has finalized a contract with Bode Cellmark Forensics to do the testing at a Northern Virginia facility.

Mounties to collect about 2,000 DNA samples in unprecedented attempt at solving Manitoba girl’s murder

teresa_robinsonHer remains were found in such bad shape, residents thought she had been mauled by a bear.
Now, almost a year after the killing of Teresa Robinson, 11, in a remote northern Manitoba First Nation community and under pressure to solve the case, RCMP investigators are trying to gather DNA samples from about 2,000 local men and boys.

Parabon Awarded US DoD Contract to Aid Identification of Unknown Remains

US ArmyReston, Va. (February 1, 2016) — Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced today a contract award from the U.S. Army Research Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency to extend the range and sensitivity of the company’s Snapshot Kinship Inference software for the DoD’s Past Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related DNA forensics. Although Snapshot is best known for its DNA phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence), it also has the ability to accurately predict distant kinship relationships, currently out to six degrees of relatedness (e.g., second cousins once-removed).
Under the new contract, Snapshot will be recalibrated on a larger number of reference samples to further improve its accuracy and increase the kinship distances it can predict. Distant kinship inference is an indispensable capability for connecting families with unidentified loved ones who perished in long past conflicts because often the only remaining family members are too genetically distant for traditional DNA analysis to be used. By increasing the genetic distance at which relatedness can be inferred, Snapshot will enable identifications to be made that heretofore have not been possible.

New DNA odds spur review of old cases

DNA HelixTexas criminal justice organizations have begun reviewing thousands of cases that relied on an outdated method for calculating the odds that a particular person left DNA evidence at a crime scene.
At issue are samples that include more than one person’s DNA, such as evidence swabbed from a countertop after a convenience store heist or taken from bodily fluids in a rape kit. Experts revised national guidelines for calculating odds in these scenarios six years ago, but no one sounded an alarm or asked prosecutors to re-examine cases that used the previous methodology.

Suspect now linked to two crimes thanks to new DNA database

Forensic LabIRELAND- This is the first case since the DNA database was set up last November that a match has been made between a person and a crime. “It’s the first official hit recorded by the new database,” said Dr Sheila Willis, director general of FSI.