Author Archives: ForensicConnect

Two murders stumped police for 40 years. The key was sitting in a bathroom cabinet.

Using updated DNA techniques, including genealogical research, investigators have tied Martinez to the two crimes. But as the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on Wednesday, solving the decades-old killings also hinged on something so common that it’s found in nearly every household — a cluttered bathroom medicine cabinet.

‘Francine’s Law’ for missing persons signed by Gov. Stitt

Legislation that changes the way missing persons cases are handled in Oklahoma has been signed into law.

Experts Call for Making DNA Testing Mandatory in Violent Crimes

New Delhi, Delhi, India: In a compelling debate on forensic DNA technology’s role in fighting crime, organised at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club–South Asia, forensic, legal, and policy experts attributed the rise in crimes against women in India to more reporting of cases rather than an extraordinary spike in violence.

Sex assault kit bill aims to end fear of victim-blaming, prevent case backlog

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) State legislators want new laws in Wisconsin to protect victims of sexual assault and ensure there’s never another backlog of untested rape kits.
Sexual assault kit testing was one of former state attorney general Brad Schimel’s big initiatives, pushing to have all untested kits submitted to a crime lab, then having the DNA of the offender entered into national DNA databases.

MD Hits DNA Milestone

Maryland has now recorded its 7000th positive hit on its DNA database.
State Police say the hit involved a case out of Charles County. It was part of a 2003 rape case.

Stonehenge: DNA reveals origin of builders

The ancestors of the people who built Stonehenge travelled west across the Mediterranean before reaching Britain, a study has shown.
Researchers compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found across Britain with that of people alive at the same time in Europe.

DC Court Rules STRmix Source Code Inspection Is Available, But Unnecessary

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Noting that STRmix™ – the sophisticated forensic software used to resolve mixed DNA profiles – “is not a secret product, as defendant characterizes it,” a Washington, DC Superior Court has denied a defense request to compel the prosecution in District of Columbia v. James Brandon (Case No. 2017 CF2 006160) to provide source code for STRmix™.

Bones discovered in an island cave may be a new human species

Please welcome a possible new member to our band of upright apes: Homo luzonensis, whose teeth and bones were discovered in a cave on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The remains represent a new species, scientists concluded in a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

New forensic technologies help solve five missing persons cases

Ireland- THE STATE’S FORENSIC lab handled a record number of cases requiring DNA analysis last year and its new technologies helped solve five historic missing persons cases.

Kentucky says it will be first to use ‘rapid DNA’ to identify rape suspects within hours

The state has made a major push to test backlogged kits since a 2015 audit found about 3,000 untested kits across the state. Kentucky has since sent about 4,600 kits for laboratory DNA testing, a process now nearing its end.

Ethiopia crash victims’ DNA samples to be sent for London tests

Ethiopia will send DNA samples taken from the victims of last month’s Boeing Co. 737 Max jet crash for identification tests in London.
The remains of the 157 people who died are currently in a hospital in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopia capital, Musie Yehyies, the spokesman for the transport ministry, said in an interview.

2 Women Were Killed on a Beach Vacation in 1973. A DNA Test Just Led to an Arrest.

A cold-case squad in Virginia Beach identified Mr. Broadnax, who is in his 80s, as a suspect by using technology that did not even exist when the women, Lynn Seethaler and Janice Pietropola, both 19, were killed inside a motel cottage near the oceanfront.

“Francine’s Law” Heads to the Governor

“The bill is named for Francine Frost, of Tulsa. Her family never quit looking for her after she went missing in 1981. More than three and a half decades later, remains that had been discovered two years after she was abducted were finally identified as hers, thanks to the determination of Francine’s family and the NamUs database,” Daniels said. “If this measure had been the law years ago, her case could have been solved sooner. I want to thank the Frost family for their strength and perseverance in helping bring this legislation forward.”

Adoption and Sperm and Egg Donations Are No Longer Anonymous

For over a century parents had the option of placing a child for adoption anonymously – meaning that the child and adoptive family had little or no information about the biological parents, and few, if any, means to contact each other in the future. But the advent of widespread direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing and the creation of ‘family matching’ databases has forever torn off the seal of confidential adoptions.

Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski might have been a woman or intersex

Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.
Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.