Retiring crime-lab chief helped crack cold cases, catch rapists, elevate forensic science

WEST PALM BEACH —Just before Cecelia Crouse was hired by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in 1992 to be part of the crime lab as a forensic scientist conducting DNA research, she had to look up the definition of “forensics.” She took the interview with the encouragement of a friend, but didn’t understand why a law-enforcement agency would need a scientist like herself.