Category Archives: Ancestry

DNA Helps Uncover Suspect Behind 1970s South Lake Tahoe Murder Cases

El Dorado County DA Vern Pierson said their two families were “frozen in time,” suffering for years with no arrests, no suspects and no information — until now.
“It wouldn’t have happened without this technology,” Gaines said.

He won $21 million after 39 years wrongly locked up. He has one cop to thank for freeing him.

“While no amount of money can make up for what happened to Mr. Coley, settling this case is the right thing to do for Mr. Coley and our community,” City Manager Eric Levitt said in a statement.

‘I’m a prince’: After years of searching for family history, a pastor discovers royal ties to Africa

It was about 4 a.m. when his phone buzzed with a message from far away. He read it once, twice, three times before he woke his sleeping wife to tell her the news.
“I’m a prince,” he whispered as she blinked herself awake. “A prince.”

A suspected killer eluded capture for 25 years. Then investigators got his aunt’s DNA.

The April 1993 slaying of Sophie Sergie, an Alaska Native, was one of the state’s most notorious cold cases until Friday, when authorities announced that DNA genealogical mapping helped triangulate a genetic match with Steven Downs, 44, a nurse in Auburn, Maine.

Vietnamese sisters reunited in USA after 44 years

During the fall of Saigon, the two sisters and their mother were set to be airlifted out of Saigon before the North Vietnamese captured it. However, 2-year-old Rose wandered off from her family. Their mother frantically looked for the younger sister to no avail.
In the end, she had to make the tough decision to depart without her younger daughter.

More than 26 million people have added their DNA to four leading ancestry databases: report

Millions of people have willingly given up their privacy via their own DNA, thanks to the growing popularity of at-home ancestry tests.
More than 26 million people have taken DNA tests from at least one of the four major consumer genetics companies, according to a recent study by MIT Technology Review.

A dogged investigator made sure the ‘Boy under the Billboard’ was not forgotten

HILLSBOROUGH When a young boy’s skeleton was found under an Interstate 85-40 billboard in September 1998, Orange County investigators knew almost nothing about who he was, how he got there, or who killed him.
The case of the “Boy Under the Billboard” would remain unsolved until DNA science and a determined Orange County investigator caught up with his killer just last week.

How to Delete Your Data From 23andMe, Ancestry, and Other Sites

If you’ve sent a DNA sample such as a tube of spit to 23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage, or one of the many other companies that offer direct-to-consumer genetic testing, you’ve sent them the essential information they need to provide you with their analysis of your genetic code.
But if you later decide that you want to remove your genetic information from the web for privacy reasons, can you? And should you?

Her murder went unsolved for nearly 40 years.

Rose Ann Hlavka came home to the modest brick apartment building just northwest of Portland, Ore.’s downtown around 10 p.m. expecting to find her 20-year-old sister, Anna Marie. The siblings not only shared a home but they both also worked at a nearby McDonald’s, where Anna Marie Hlavka had gotten off a few hours earlier.
But her sister didn’t answer when Rose Ann opened the door and called her name on that night, July 24, 1979. She soon discovered why: Anna Marie was sprawled dead in the bedroom. She had been strangled and sexually assaulted.

Major DNA Testing Company Sharing Genetic Data With the FBI

The decision by a prominent consumer DNA-testing company to share data with federal law enforcement means investigators have access to genetic information linked to hundreds of millions of people.

Tuam babies: Survivors call for immediate DNA tests

More than 20 survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home have called on the Irish government to take their DNA samples urgently.
The excavation of the Galway site, containing the remains of children buried in unmarked graves, is to begin later this year.

Familial DNA searching- an emerging forensic investigative too

In recent years, jurisdictions across the United States have expressed a growing interest in aiding criminal investigations through the use of familial DNA searching (FDS)- a forensic technique to identify family members through DNA databases. The National Survey of CODIS Laboratories surveyed U.S. CODIS laboratories about their perceptions, policies, and practices related to FDS. In total, 103 crime labs completed the survey (77% response rate). Labs in 11 states reported using FDS, while labs in 24 states reported using a similar-but distinct- practice of partial matching. Although the majority of labs had positive perceptions about the ability of FDS to assist investigations, labs also reported a number of concerns and challenges with implementing FDS. Respondents reported using either practice a limited amount with modest numbers of convictions resulting from both FDS and partial matching. The article reports on varying practices related to official policies, training, eligibility, the software search, lineage testing, requirements for releasing information, and subsequent investigative work. Finally, the article discusses what can be learned from this survey, accompanying limitations, and implications for decision-makers considering using FDS.

The research discussed in this article is the result of an NIJ-funded project but the article was not published by the U.S. Department of Justice. Opinions or points of view expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

ASCLD Train the Director Series

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) and the American Society of Crime Lab Director’s (ASCLD) are partnering to bring the crime lab leadership community an expansive training series highlighting five different forensic disciplines:

Crime Gun Intelligence (Thursday, January 24, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Digital Forensics (Thursday, January 31, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Fire Debris Analysis (Thursday, February 7, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Trace Analysis (Thursday, February 14, 2:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET)
Quality Assurance (TBD)
Attend any or all of these webinars using the link below.

He’s accused of killing two police officers. His trial can’t begin until the shutdown ends.

The lapse in federal government funding affected the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Justice Department employees involved in criminal investigations and prosecution are among those working without a paycheck.

House supports Morrison’s bill providing new tool to identify human remains

Indianapolis, IN – The House of Representatives voted Tuesday in support of State Rep. Alan Morrison’s (R-Brazil) proposal giving coroners one more way to quickly and accurately identify human remains.