Category Archives: Forensic Industry News

Woodlands-Based Biotech Company is Helping Solve America’s Cold Cases

Othram uses advanced DNA sequencing and proprietary software to enable human identification applications from degraded and often scare forensic DNA evidence. The company has built the first and only private laboratory to apply the power of modern genome sequencing in a forensic environment.

DNA match leads to arrest in 2004 sexual assault

“After 16 years, you either think your suspect is deceased or they’re already serving a prison term where it wasn’t required to collect their DNA,” said Mountain View Police Capt. Jessica Nowaski in an interview Friday. “I’m just really excited that we were able to bring closure to our victim.”

FBI could hold the key to a notorious Texas cold case. But the info isn’t being released.

AUSTIN — The FBI could hold the key to solving one of the most notorious cold cases in Texas history, but the federal agency won’t release the information because of privacy concerns.
Its stance has frustrated investigators, devastated family members and thrust Austin into the spotlight of a growing national debate over the novel use of what some call family-tree forensics.

Calif. man free after DNA site leads to new arrest in murder

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — California authorities used recently developed DNA techniques to free one man and implicate another for only the second time in the United States, officials said Thursday.
A man who spent about 15 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted in the slaying of his housemate has been exonerated after authorities used extended DNA links developed through publicly available genealogical websites to build a family tree that led to the arrest of a new suspect.

NYPD shopping changes to controversial methods used to collect and keep DNA samples of suspects

The NYPD is quietly shopping a change to how it collects and keeps DNA samples of suspects ahead of an upcoming City Council hearing — even as critics charge it isn’t going far enough to amend its more controversial tactics, the daily News has learned.

DHS commences pilot project to collect DNA from certain travellers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a pilot project to collect DNA samples from certain travellers, which commenced on January 6, 2020.
This announcement has prompted questions from Canadians (and other foreign nationals), who are concerned that they may be required to provide a sample of their DNA when travelling to the United States. Although privacy advocates are concerned about this mandatory collection of DNA, the pilot project, as it presently stands, may not be a significant departure from current practices.

Senate bill would require DNA testing for all felony arrests

JEFFERSON CITY — Katie Sepich was raped, strangled and set on fire outside her New Mexico home in 2003. After DNA was found under her fingernails, her family hoped that police would be able to catch the murderer. The DNA, however, was not in the federal DNA database, so there was no evidence to tie someone to the crime.

Bill to prevent another rape kit backlog passes a divided Wisconsin Assembly

A Republican bill aiming to prevent another rape kit backlog that includes provisions on school vouchers and undocumented immigration has cleared the Wisconsin state Assembly.

Forensic Nucleic Acid Analysis of Uncultivatable Microbes: New Method Expand the Microbial Toolkit

The molecular characterization of microorganisms is achieved by microbial culturing techniques which yield enough nucleic acids for amplification and genetic analysis.

New bill would allow more DNA testing in old cases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) — Advances in DNA testing now make it possible to identify perpetrators that would have gone undetected a decade or two ago, but people convicted of a crime have been blocked from having crime scene DNA except in the most unusual circumstances.
However, new legislation could lead to more being exonerations and convictions.

City Agrees to Test DNA in Landmark Case That Could Exonerate an Executed Man

On Friday, the city of Jacksonville, Arkansas, agreed to test DNA evidence in the case of Ledell Lee, who was put to death in 2017 after the Supreme Court voted 5–4 to allow the state to proceed with a series of executions to meet a deadline for an expiring lethal injection cocktail. Questions have swirled around Lee’s possible innocence for decades. The city’s decision clears a major hurdle in a case that could result in DNA evidence for the first time proving that a state has wrongfully executed an innocent man.

Identical twins, identical DNA, different ancestry results? We put three kits to the test

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Caroline and Camille Clarke are 7-year-old first-graders at Hutchens Elementary School in Mobile. Their favorite subject is science.
It shouldn’t be a surprise – they’re identical twins.
So the results of DNA tests should be exactly the same for both girls, right? To find out, FOX10 News had each girl take three of the most popular DNA ancestry kits on the market – Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and National Geographic.

DNA From Newborn Bloodspot Biobank Helped Crack 2007 Infant Death Cold Case

YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — Paul Perez, 57, is accused of killing five of his own infants.
Perez is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to five charges of premeditated, first-degree murder and with five enhancements of lying in wait, and torture. Officials say stored baby DNA helped identify Perez as the father in this cold case criminal investigation.

Betty Pat Gatliff, forensic sculptor who put a face to John Does, dies at 89

The bones usually arrived by mail, a stream of anonymous packages bearing unknown remains. Sent from police departments, coroners and medical examiners across the country, they landed on the Oklahoma doorstep of Betty Pat Gatliff, a forensic sculptor who pioneered a new method for reconstructing faces, turning an avocation into her life’s work.

RCMP helping to identify Canadian victims killed in downing of Ukraine Flight 752

The RCMP is working to help identify the remains of Canadians killed in the shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 through the collection of DNA samples.