Category Archives: Database

Crusader for Spain’s abducted babies finds biological family

BARCELONA, Spain — A woman who became a crusader for babies abducted during Spain’s 20th-century dictatorship said Thursday that she has found her biological family and learned that her mother gave her up voluntarily.
Inés Madrigal said that thanks to an American DNA bank she has found four half siblings five decades after her birth.

DNA From a Shark Tooth Embedded in a Man’s Foot for 25 Years Identifies the Culprit

It was unclear what species of shark attacked Jeff Weakley while he was surfing off Flagler Beach, Florida in 1994. Whether it was a tiger shark, bull shark, great white shark, or some other predator didn’t matter at the time—his priority was swimming to safety before the shark could take another bite.
Twenty-five years later, the wound on Weakley’s right foot has healed, and he’s had plenty of time to wonder what exactly bit him on that beach trip. By analyzing a tooth fragment that was lodged in his foot for more than two decades, a team of scientists has finally given him an answer, the Ocala StarBanner reports.

Houston Sexual Assault Survivors Can Now Track Their Evidence Kits

Houston is one of several Texas cities participating in the pilot phase of an online tool that allows survivors of sexual assault to track their sexual assault evidence kits. Experts are confident the new technology will help investigators maintain an up-to-date statewide inventory of sexual assault kits once the current backlog is cleared.

Largest DNA mapping effort in U.S. history launched in Utah

Intermountain Healthcare and ‘Decode Genetics’ have launched the largest DNA mapping effort to date in the United States to help make connections between genetics and human disease.
The initiative is called ‘Heredigene Population Study’.
It’s going to take DNA from 500,000 people to hopefully make a global impact on healthcare.

UK and EU law enforcement boost co-operation on DNA databases

Law enforcement agencies in the UK and across the EU will be able to search for matching samples on each other’s DNA databases, boosting their capacity to tackle cross-border crime and protect citizens.
The UK’s implementation of Prüm will facilitate better co-operation between police forces and law enforcement agencies. Unknown DNA samples taken from crime scenes can now be compared automatically with profiles held by other EU member states.

Texas Senate approves DNA collection on violent arrests

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Wednesday night, the Senate passed House Bill 1399, a bill allowing law enforcement to collect DNA samples of people they arrest for violent crimes like murder, rape, and assault.

Duluth Police: All backlog sexual assault kits tested, investigations ongoing

DULUTH, MN– Around this time last year, the Duluth Police Department was in over their heads.
Duluth was being called the worst city in the state when it came to efficiently testing sexual assault kits with hundreds of kits, some dating back to 1993.
Now, more than a year later, the department has submitted all of its kits and we’re learning the results of the testing.

Woman accused in death of newborn granted pretrial release

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota woman charged with murder in the death of her newborn who was abandoned in a ditch 38 years ago has been released from jail.
Theresa Bentaas, 57, has been in the Minnehaha County Jail since her arrest March 8. Investigators said they used advances in DNA evidence and genealogy sites to determine she was the mother of the infant, called Baby Andrew, whose body was found wrapped in a blanket in a cornfield ditch in Sioux Falls in February 1981.

DNA database opts a million people out from police searches

A major DNA database that has been pivotal in solving US cold crime cases has blocked law enforcement access to the profiles of a million people, in a setback for investigators and a victory for campaigners.

Researchers seek 25,000 DNA samples for Las Vegas population study

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – Genetic testing is one of the hottest health trends. The Healthy Nevada Project said it is looking for 25,000 people from Clark County to hand over their DNA.

New DNA evidence solves 1982 cold case killing at Lake Tahoe

At a news conference in Reno on Tuesday, sheriff’s detectives, forensic scientists, and genealogists described a remarkable series of challenges they faced in piecing together evidence and tracing the extended family trees of hundreds of individuals based on DNA run through an online genealogy databased called GEDMatch.

5 years after rape kit backlog controversy, Salt Lake police celebrate ‘huge strides’

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly five years have gone by since the state of Utah and Salt Lake City made headlines for a backlog of hundreds of untested rape kits.
Now, after laws were passed at the state and city level to address the backlog, Salt Lake police are celebrating a cultural shift in how sexual assault reports are treated — and that their work has resulted in the identification of more than 100 suspects from the backlog.

DNA Detectives: Scientists combining forensics with genealogy break ‘unsolvable’ cases

(InvestigateTV) – Thanks to a breakthrough in how DNA is used, more than 1,000 collective years worth of cold cases across the U.S. have been solved in just the last nine months.
Police are teaming up with genealogists to track killers through their blood lines.

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.