Inside State Crime Lab

helix10RICHMOND, Va (WVIR) – Scientists at the state crime lab are working on some of the Virginia’s toughest crimes, including the Jesse Matthew case. In this NBC29 exclusive, Matt Talhelm shows us the science behind solving crimes at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Central Lab in Richmond.

The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutes

Rapid DNAThe RapidHIT represents a major technological leap—testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for “rapid DNA” technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.

Bill to have all Russians fingerprinted and DNA profiled submitted to parliament

Russian databaseMPs from the populist nationalist party LDPR have prepared and drafted a motion requiring universal fingerprinting and DNA profiling of all Russian citizens for reasons of security.

Training Update: Using Rapid DNA Webinar

Justice DeptJoin us on November 20 at 1 p.m. EST for the second course in the ASCLD Rapid DNA webinar series. This session will be presented by Vince Figarelli, Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Scientific Analysis Bureau, and Gray Amick, Technical Leader of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department DNA Laboratory. This is the second of a three-part series hosted by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors and NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence to investigate the validation, current use, and future implementation of Rapid DNA.
This three-part series will conclude on December 9.
Register now.

Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding calls for change in DNA collection procedures

AlbemarleAlbemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding is advocating for an expansion of Virginia’s DNA databanks, pushing for the state to collect DNA from all individuals convicted of misdemeanors.

World’s End murder trial: Meet the DNA expert and unlikely hero whose work was pivotal in catching killer Angus Sinclair

KnibbbIT WAS a small section cut from Helen Eadie’s raincoat that provided the “eureka” moment police had so desperately sought for over 30 years.
Forensic scientist Lester Knibb had only been qualified for a year when he was given samples from the scene of the murders.

Albemarle Sheriff advocates for expansion of Virginia DNA databank

DNA DatabaseA local law enforcement official says that the death of Hannah Graham is another example of the need to expand Virginia’s repository of DNA evidence.
Virginia’s DNA databank was first established in 1989. Albemarle Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding has previously pushed to expand the state’s collection of evidence by requiring DNA to be collected for the databank at every criminal conviction.

Cuyahoga County’s Medical Examiner office uses DNA to identify bodies, solve sex crimes & cold cases

Helix4Using DNA to identify a rapist can be a race against time, especially if the suspect turns out to be a serial offender.
And Cuyahoga County’s Medical Examiner office plays a part in catching them.

New DNA technology could get rapists off the streets faster

helix10Largo, FL – It’s been documented across the country; thousands of untested rape kits sitting on shelves waiting to be tested.
But new technology could make a huge difference in the way DNA is tested. It’s called Rapid DNA.
“They’re getting timely answers it may not be the total answer but they’re getting timely answers with technology that only a few years ago resided only in the laboratory,” said National Forensic Science Technology Center CEO Kevin Lothridge.

Worthy joins Manhattan DA in rape kit announcement

Backlog of sexual assault kitsDETROIT (AP) — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is applauding Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.‘s pledge to use as much as $35 million to help eliminate a national backlog of untested rape kits.

NY prosecutor to fund rape kit testing nationally

sexual assault kitsNEW YORK (AP) — Evidence from up to 70,000 rape cases nationwide will get long-awaited DNA testing, the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced Wednesday as he pledged as much as $35 million to help eliminate a backlog that has long troubled authorities, victims and lawmakers.

TrueAllele DNA Analysis Prevails in Louisiana Daubert Challenge

justice and DNA2PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A Louisiana judge admitted Cybergenetics TrueAllele® Casework into evidence on November 6th, following a Daubert hearing held that same day. Cybergenetics TrueAllele software accurately separates DNA mixture evidence into component genotypes to calculate DNA match statistics. The Honorable Richard D. Anderson ruled that TrueAllele’s match statistics met the Daubert admissibility standard for reliable evidence in a homicide case involving a DNA mixture from a handgun.

Random DNA sample solves 1998 Jerusalem murder case

Familial…The case was considered cold until a breakthrough came in 2013, when a man was questioned in connection to a domestic violence case. A DNA sample obtained from the man was entered into the police DNA database — and yielded a familial match to DNA evidence collected from Eyal’s body. The man in the domestic violence case, the DNA test showed, was the father of the suspect in Eyal’s murder…

Nearly 2,000 CODIS hits through sexual assault kit testing

codisOhio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that DNA testing conducted a part of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative has now resulted in nearly 2,000 hits in the Combined DNA Index System.
As of Nov. 1, a total of 1,982 DNA profiles extracted from previously untested rape kits have matched DNA profiles already in the CODIS database.

Veterans Day has different meaning for families of MIAs

Robert JohnsonCLEVELAND, Ohio — Army Sgt. 1st Class John McCall is an unforgotten soldier who served in what has been called “the forgotten war.”
The native Clevelander, who was taken prisoner by Chinese troops during the Korean War in 1950, is also one of more than 83,000 U.S. service members listed as missing in action (MIA) since the start of World War II. Some 7,877 are MIAs from the Korean War.
Today, Veterans Day, Americans honor past and present service members who answered the call to duty.
But for the families of MIAs like McCall, Veterans Day represents a fog of mystery and uncertainty.