Monthly Archives: July 2018

After three decades in prison, man welcomed home after sentence commuted

Thirty-six years and ten days, that’s how long Rodney Lincoln was in prison before his sentence was commuted for a crime he still says he never committed.

Police probing whether suspect in NYC murder killed others

Officials are using DNA testing to determine whether Drayton’s DNA turns up in forensic evidence collected from any unsolved homicides.

The perfectly-preserved skeleton and the body hanging from a purple scarf

Australia- Forensic specialists have shed light on two mysterious cases they have never been able to solve – one involving an almost perfectly preserved skeleton and another body found hanging from a purple scarf as a noose.

Canada using DNA, ancestry websites to investigate migrants

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian immigration officials are using DNA testing and ancestry websites to try to establish the nationality of migrants, the Canada Border Services Agency said on Friday.
CBSA spokesman Jayden Robertson said the agency uses DNA testing to determine identity of “longer-term detainees” when other techniques have been exhausted.

VFW urges families of MIA servicemembers to provide DNA samples

WASHINGTON (KCTV) -The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is asking the families of those who went missing during the Korean and Cold Wars to submit DNA in the hopes of identifying the remains North Korea turned over to the U.S. recently.

Judge Halts All DNA Testing in the Capital Murder of Eric Torrez for All 5 Defendants

Judge Weatherby allowed attorneys for all the defendants to address the court. At issue is that of the 50 or so pieces of physical evidence needing to be tested, some 8 to 10 of those pieces don’t have enough material to test more than once and attorneys for each of the five defendants said they wanted to conduct separate testing on the evidence.

DNA to X-ray: Military has variety of tools to ID returned remains

NEW YORK — The U.S. military remains released by North Korea on Friday will be sent to a military lab in Hawaii, where they’ll enter a system that routinely identifies service members from decades-old conflicts.
Identifications depend on combining multiple lines of evidence, and they can take time: Even after decades, some cases remain unresolved.

How DNA and a tattoo led to charges in cold R.I. murder case

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — To crack a cold case, the Woonsocket police used cutting-edge forensic DNA phenotyping and genetic genealogy for the first time — and within weeks, connected two men to the brutal murder of a woman stabbed more than 60 times two years ago.

Local Organizing Needed to Eliminate Backlog of Rape Kits

In 2015, President Barack Obama proposed the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), a $41 million fund intended to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits sitting in storage around the US. As NPQ reported, the rape kit backlog is a priority for the Joyful Heart Foundation, which is privately funded. Fourteen years after Joyful Heart was founded and three years into the US Department of Justice’s SAKI grants program, what’s the status of the backlog?

Forensic Scientists Improve Sexual Assault Kit Turnaround Time with Y-Screening

The backlog of sexual assault kit samples in crime laboratories across the nation is a topic that hit the spotlight when a group of journalists uncovered the issue in an open records search of crime lab records in 2015. Reasons for the backlog include lack of staff, lack of funding, and simply, lack of time or a decision not to prosecute the case. Processing samples can be a labor-intensive process.

Data bank expansion aims to save lives and prevent crime

RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — The DNA data bank in Richmond is adding two additional misdemeanors requiring DNA collection because of a new law passed in the Virginia General Assembly — which was inspired by the deaths of Morgan Harrington and Hannah Graham.

Sheriff turns to family tree databases to find ID of first victim of serial killer

MARION, Ohio — The Marion County Sheriff is turning to DNA databases used by amateur genealogists to fill in their family trees in his latest effort to find the identity of a woman who may be the first victim of serial killer Shawn Grate. Those databases were used to solve recent high profile cases including the arrest of the Golden State Killer after he murdered dozens and eluded police for decades.

Jury convicts Janesville man in 2000 sex assault

A state statute passed in 2015 expanded the types of crimes that require DNA collection, police said, and that’s why in 2017 investigators were able to match Baxter’s DNA to a blood sample in the 2000 case.

GSK bets $300 million on genetics as CEO plays down break-up talk

GSK is buying a $300 million stake in the Silicon Valley gene testing company 23andMe, giving it exclusive access to the Google-backed firm’s vast DNA database.

9/11 victim identified using DNA testing

The remains of a 26-year-old financial worker who died 17 years ago on 9/11 has been identified through advanced DNA testing by the city’s Medical Examiner, a report on Wednesday said.
The office said the remains belonged to Scott Michael Johnson, who worked on the 89th floor of the south tower ​​as a security analyst for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, the New York Times reported.