Va. Beach rape kits get hits in CODIS DNA database

dna-testNORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Rape victims in Hampton Roads are one step closer to justice.
13News Now has uncovered the results of newly-tested rape kits from some of our local police departments, and they match suspects in the national database.
Some of the victims in these cases have been waiting for test results of their rape kits for decades. We now know evidence from 14 of the kits sent from Virginia Beach Police matches profiles already in CODIS.

DNA evidence revealed

evidence-collectionMENOMINEE — Jolene Eichhorn’s blood was found in Gregory Ihander’s home and on his clothing, and Ihander’s DNA was found along with Eichhorn’s on the bloody sandals found in a trash bag in his bathroom Sept. 9, 2015.
A DNA expert from the Michigan State Police Department of Forensic Science in Grand Rapids testified Friday in Menominee County Circuit Court to the DNA matches that were found on several items taken from Ihander’s home and on the clothing he was wearing the day he was arrested.

GBI plans for new regional crime lab to address growing population, caseload

Gray DNAThe case load has grown for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Coastal Regional crime laboratory since the unassuming brick building was built on Savannah’s southside 30 years ago.
But apart from the addition of an annex to house the facility’s morgue and medical staff in 2003, the lab on Mohawk Street has stayed pretty much the same, and GBI officials say it’s time for an upgrade.

Forensic Artist Gives Unidentified Bones a Face

arkansas-artistLITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Right now, there are more than 100 unidentified persons cases in Arkansas. That’s more than 100 families that are missing a loved one.
Even though some missing persons’ remains may have been found, they have yet to be claimed.

Public Crime Lab Funding Webinar Recording, Transcript, and Slides Now Available

Justice Dept

NIJ held a webinar to provide details and guidance for potential applicants to several solicitations for publicly funded crime laboratories. Materials from the webinar are now available online.
Watch the recording.
Read the transcript.
Review the presentation slides.

Open solicitations discussed in the webinar include:
• Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories Due February 27
• Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Competitive Due March 10
• Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Formula Due March 10
• Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program Due March 13
• DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program Due March 13

Promega Corporation Brings High-Performance DNA Analysis to the Benchtop with New Spectrum Compact CE Instrument

spectrum_compact_ce_system_webreadyMADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Soon scientists will be able to perform efficient DNA analysis right at their bench. Promega Corporation has announced the development of a benchtop capillary electrophoresis (CE) instrument in collaboration with Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation. The Spectrum Compact CE System meets small batch and single sample needs in DNA analysis and performs both sequencing and fragment analysis at a moment’s notice.

From SWGDAM: Recommendations for the Efficient DNA Processing Of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits

swgdam1The SWGDAM Recommendations for Efficient DNA Processing of Sexual Assault Evidence Kits are now available.

What happens to unidentified remains after case goes cold?

burial-siteIn February 2012, a Manorville man walking his dog in a wooded area near his house made a startling discovery: a human skull and other skeletal remains.
Five years later, all forensic analysts have discovered is that the remains were those of a man, likely white with brown hair and anywhere from 30 to 50 years old. His right fibula had been fractured but had healed.

Forensic DNA profiling might be about to take a big leap forward. Are we ready?

evidence-collectionPicture the scene. A detective is addressing her team:
“The DNA test results are in. We’re looking for a white male suspect, 34–37 years old, born in the summer in a temperate climate. He’s used cocaine in the past. His mother smoked, but he doesn’t. He drinks heavily, like his Dad. We’re seeing high stress levels, and looking at the air pollution markers, let’s start looking downtown, probably near a major intersection”.

DNA evidence used to link accused killer to murder victim ‘scientifically corrupt’: Defence expert

Helix3The DNA evidence used to link Mark Grant to the murder of 13-year-old Candace Derksen was not properly analyzed, according to a genetics professor.
The defence called on Dr. Bruce Budowle, of the University of North Texas Health Science Centre, who testified in the Grant retrial Monday.

Family DNA Searches Seen as Crime-Solving Tool, and Intrusion on Rights

crime-site-in-queensThe leads have dried up in the killing of a young woman in Queens during a jog last summer.
Tips about potential suspects have gone nowhere. A reward has failed to bear fruit, even as it has swelled to over $280,000. And the samples of a stranger’s DNA found on the hands, throat and cellphone of the jogger, Karina Vetrano, 30, did not match those in national offender databases.

Cold case murder of Righteous Brothers singer’s ex-wife solved

blue helix2Investigators used a controversial DNA testing method to solve the decades-old killing of the ex-wife of Righteous Brothers singer Bill Medley, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.
Karen Klaas was attacked Jan. 30, 1976 as she returned to her home in Hermosa Beach. The 32-year-old was sexually assaulted, strangled with her pantyhose and never regained consciousness. She died a few days later at the hospital.

Drowning in DNA: State’s backlog of rape kits grows

georgia-rape-kitsGeorgia- As the state’s crime lab struggles to process more than 1,300 rape kits that were found stored and forgotten at Grady Memorial Hospital, an avalanche of additional DNA evidence has rolled in, partly because of a new state law that governs when DNA evidence must be submitted.

Irish expert to crack cold cases after breakthrough in DNA profiling

DNA StrandsA NEW DNA profiling technique, which finally nabbed the Boston Strangler after half a century, is being used in Ireland for the first time to try to solve cold cases.
The genetic test is currently being employed to crack some of Ireland’s most serious unexplained crimes.
The technology – known as Y-STR DNA profiling – pinpoints male DNA in evidence samples which contain high levels of female DNA, such as in semen samples taken from a female victim in a sexual assault case.

Hundreds of DNA matches as Houston clears rape kit backlog

DNA profilesHOUSTON — Evidence from more than 6,600 rape kits that went untested for years in Houston have turned up 850 hits in the FBI’s nationwide database of DNA profiles, marking a major step in the city’s $6 million effort to address the backlog, officials announced Monday.