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Familial DNA Searching

This prezi describes the steps taken by Denver, Colorado and others around the world to utilize Familial DNA Searching.

Joshua Thurmond

on 7 January 2015

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Transcript of Familial DNA Searching

Mitch Morrissey
FamIlIal DNA Database Searches
Why Is
FamIlIal DNA
SearchIng Important?
It saves time
It saves money
It promotes justice
and prevents crime
Familial Searching in the U.K.
Why Is


In Great Britain, Familial DNA intelligence packages have been produced for 122 specific serious crime investigations.
In 28% of the cases there was a relative on the list (32 out of 122).
In Great Britain, Familial DNA intelligence packages
have been produced for 210 specific
serious crime investigations.
In 19% of the cases there was a
relative on the list (40 out of 210).
FamIlIal DNA Searches In the U.K.
ThIrty-one Perpetrators IdentIfIed by
FamIlIal InvestIgatIons
14 - Murders
55 - Rapes
3 - Child Abandonments
4 - Successful Exonerations through Familial Searches

Obtained their familial search protocol and studied their program.

Tried to convince the FBI to research a familial search program for the US.

Worked with the California AG to change the state’s policy to allow familial searching and sharing this information with law enforcement.
Searched all unknowns against Denver’s DNA database.

Used a familial search software.

In five separate cases there was a 90% chance that two individuals were related.

Y-STR DNA testing showed that the individuals had the same Y-STR type.
The search showed that there was a 90% chance that a DNA profile in an unsolved burglary came from a male offspring of a known sample.

The father was in the DNA database for a 2002 aggravated assault.

Y-STR DNA types matched.
Developed a Familial Search Software Program

Total cost = $50,000 (including the purchase of a dedicated laptop).
Colorado's dna famIlIal search polIcy
Persuaded the Colorado Department of Public Safety and the Attorney General to develop a Familial Search Policy and worked with them to create it.
Presented this policy to the Governor and leaders in the legislature.
The DetaIls:
85% of CODIS matches are obtained within same state.

No statute was necessary.

Was “developed keeping privacy concerns in mind, while at the same time providing information that may be useful in solving a violent offense and prevent potential victimization.”

Applies to arrestee and convicted offender databases.

Absent exigent circumstances, contacting family members/relatives should be the last resort in this type of investigation.

First obtain information via public and/or law enforcement authorized databases before contacting these individuals.
Basic guidelines for familial search investigations:

Request must come from Chief or DA.

Case presents a public safety concern.

Unsolved case with all investigative leads exhausted.

Must be a complete 13-loci DNA profile.

Conduct Y-STR testing if possible.

Release potential family member’s identifying information (name, DOB, ethnicity) only if the Y-STR profiles match.

The requesting agency agrees to perform follow-up investigation.

The lead investigator must be trained in familial search investigations.
Conducted a search of all forensic unknowns against the Colorado DNA database (about 2,000 against 80,000).

Used our familial search software program.
Cost to the Lab of a FamIlIal Search and Y-STR TestIng
$2,500 per search - assuming 20 Y-STR follow up tests (includes personnel costs and Y-STR testing reagents).

$7,000 per search - assuming 200 Y-STR follow up tests (includes personnel costs and Y-STR testing reagents).

This does not include the cost of any follow up investigation.
Denver DNA Database FamIlIal Searches:
ConvIctIon In the US
A 90% chance that the DNA profile from a car break-in and a DNA profile in the local DNA database from a convicted car thief were from brothers.

Y-STR DNA types matched.

A conventional investigation led to the car thief’s brother and a warrant was obtained for the brother’s DNA.
The brother’s DNA matched the DNA from the crime scene.

Jaimes-Tinajero was charged with two car break-ins and pled guilty.

This is the first conviction in the United States where the results from a familial search software program aided in solving a crime.
Luis Jaimes-Tinajero
Car Thief
Reached Out to Other JurIsdIctIons Across the US
DNA evidence is found in the most violent crimes… Murders, Sexual Assaults, Sexual Assaults on Children.

90% of the victims of crimes where DNA evidence is critical are women.

The next largest percentage of victims are children.

The innocent are exonerated.
We have offered the use of our software free of charge to other jurisdictions:

Wisconsin - Serial murderer.

Texas - The “Twilight Rapist”.

Minnesota - 3 child deaths.

Pennsylvania - The “Kensington Strangler”.

Utah - “ The Feb. 9th” serial murderer.

Connecticut - The “New Haven Serial Rapist”.

Virginia - The Morgan Harrington murder investigation.
DNA Exonerations Become Cold Cases
In 81 of the first 212 exonerations, DNA led to the real perpetrator.

Rape victims and families of murdered victims deserve answers.

The wrongfully convicted deserve answers.

Familial investigations may provide those answers.
No ConstItutIonal PrIvacy Issues
“It is questionable whether the rights of the perpetrator (if ultimately identified through the use of familial comparisons) are violated…or whose familial comparison helped focus the inquiry, has suffered any invasion of his or her constitutional right to privacy.”
DNA Database - Race and EthnIc Issues
The composition of the database accurately reflects the racial breakdown of those who have been arrested or convicted or imprisoned.

DNA hits routinely identify offenders proportional to this breakdown.
While African Americans accounted for 13% of the U.S. population in 2005, they accounted for nearly half of all homicide victims (49%).
Not coincidentally, victims in these crimes are most often person’s of color.

To create artificial constraints on the use of the database because of its minority composition would result in a violation of the rights of those minority victims.
Between 2001 and 2005, the average victimization rate of Blacks in sexual assaults was double that of Whites and Hispanics.
Florida - The Daytona Beach serial murderer.
Illinois - Lane Bryant Murders
On February 2, 2008 at a Lane Bryant Store in Tinley Park, Illinois.

Six women shot - five killed.

DNA profile and no match in the national database.

A familial DNA search should be run in both the Illinois and Indiana DNA databases.
Tinley Park -28 miles from Chicago
29 miles from Gary, Indiana
To establish a violation of the Fourth Amendment, a person must show that he had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the item seized.

When individuals voluntarily abandon property, they forfeit any expectation of privacy in it that they might have had.

A seizure of abandoned property does not violate the Fourth Amendment.
Crime Scene DNA is Abandoned
Virginia accepted our offer for the software free of charge:

It was installed on December 27, 2010.

In less then 3 months they started conducting familial searches on cases.

Hopefully it will help in the Morgan Harrington murder investigation.
Analogous to a witness viewing photographs of similar looking suspects.
Minnesota v. Carter, 525 U.S. 83, 88, 119 S.Ct. 469, 472, 142 L.Ed.2d 373, 379 (1998).
United States v. Jones, 707 F.2d 1169, 1171 (10th Cir.1983).
Abel v. United States, 362 U.S. 217, 241, 80 S.Ct. 683, 698, 4 L.Ed.2d 668 (1960).
US v. Pool, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 9/14/10
Homicide trends in the U.S. - Trends by race Bureau of Justice Statistics www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/
Black Victims of Violent Crime - Special Report August 2007, NCJ 214258.
Elvis Garcia:

-Garcia threatened a woman with a knife and
raped her in Santa Cruz, CA in 2008.

-In 2010, a familial DNA search linked DNA evidence from
the rape to Garcia's father who was in the California DNA database.

-Investigators then obtained a sample of Garcia's DNA,
which matched the DNA from the rape.
Daytona Beach SerIal KIller
FamIlIal Search of DNA Database ProfIles
Constitutional rights are personal and may only be asserted by one whose rights are infringed. Rakas v. Illinois, 439 US 128, 133-134; 99 S Ct 421; 58 L Ed 2d 387 (1978).

The offender who left DNA at the crime scene has no standing to challenge the familial DNA search.

The offender in the database will never be charged; the DNA from the crime does not match.
A serial killer has eluded police since 2005.

He left his DNA inside three of the four women he raped.

His DNA does not match anyone in the national DNA database.

His last victim was found in 2008.

The investigation could be advanced with Familial Searching
On ten separate occasions we successfully identified the individual who left DNA at a crime scene.

We are currently working on another fifteen investigations where we have a Y-STR confirmation.
Pete Marone
Director, Virginia Department of Forensic Science
The list continues to grow...
Marcus Scott Phillips
Denver DNA Database FamIlIal Searches:
ConvIctIon In the US
Car break-in

Left blood in the car

Found through his brother

Guilty of Trespass 1-Auto
Father and Mother
Wyoming - Auto theft
FamIlIal DNA Searches In New Zealand

The rape of a 27 year-old woman in 1988 and a 90 year-old woman in 1996 by the same man.

After charges were brought against him, Wayne Jarden pled guilty to both rapes.
Our team went to the UK In 2006:
The Colorado DNA familial search policy is being
reviewed by the Global Justice Information
Sharing Initiative’s Privacy and Information
Quality Working Group at the Department of Justice.
Australia adopts Denver's Software
(and Beyond!)
Global JustIce InformatIon SharIng InItIatIve:
An Introduction to
Familial DNA Searching
for State, Local, and Tribal Justice Agencies
Denver District Attorney
A 2001 murder was solved in 2009

After charges were brought against him, Joseph Reekers pled guilty to the murder.
Two States and their National DNA Database
Franklin has been linked to the six additional killings after detective reviewed hundreds of old case files and received the public's help in identifying a collection of 180 pictures of women and girls that were found in Franklin’s home.
Franklin’s DNA was collected from discarded food items and linked to the murders.
Elodie Kulik was raped and murdered in the Somme in France in 2002 .
DNA in a condom found near her body did not match anyone in the French National Database.
Investigators contacted us for assistance and following our advice solved the case.
In 2012, one of the attackers was identified by cross-checking a rare marker from the crime scene DNA profile with the national DNA database.
After individuals with the rare marker were identified, Y-chromosome testing lead to Gregory Wiart’s father who was imprisoned for a sexual assault case against minors
Wiart was killed in a car accident in 2003 and his body has been exhumed in order to obtain his DNA sample.
Wiart’s DNA was compared to the DNA profile from the crime scene and this confirmed his identity as the perpetrator.
Grégory Wiart
Élodie Kulik
A familial DNA database search resulted in a close match to a man who lived near where the babies had been found.

His four sisters all submitted to DNA testing.

It was determined that one of the sisters, Bronagh, was the babies’ mother.
Bronagh Bond
What happens when the DNA evidence does not match a suspect or anyone in the DNA database?
11 year old girl was kidnapped and raped on her way to school.

She could not ID her attacker.

She was able to give a detailed description of the man, his car and clothes.

Obtain DNA from a bloody pubic hair was found in the rape kit.

Her attacker was not in the DNA database.
DNA from the blood on the shaft of the haIr matched the vIctIm.

DNA from the root of the haIr was a mIxture of the vIctIm and male DNA.
DNA from the T-shIrt matched the vIctIm
Three babies found since 1999
No suspects
Two of the babies may be siblings
Offered the software - no response
Two abandoned new born infants, the first in 2003 and the second in 2006 were found in the same area in the UK. DNA established that the babies were sisters.
How is the database constructed and why?
Jack Wesley Melton
-Tied to a 1994 rape/murder through a familial search

-Victim was Florence K. Martin

- Linked through his son who was in the Texas DNA database
CalIfornIa's FamIlIal Search Success
James Brown:

- Raped and murdered Linda Saunders and attempted to murder Michael Reynolds in Sana Anna, California in 1978.

-A familial search of the California DNA database resulted in a match from the crime scene DNA and Brown’s brother who was in the database for a felony arrest.

-Once Brown had been identified as a suspect, it was determined that he committed suicide in 1996 and his body had been cremated. Investigators obtained a DNA sample from Brown’s son to solidify the case.
Dereck Sanders:

-AKA the "Roaming Rapist"

- Sacramento, California between 1998 and 2003

- Charged with a series of nine sexual assaults

- Familial hit was to Sanders’ older brother.

-Detectives followed Dereck Sanders to a McDonald's restaurant and recovered his DNA from a drinking straw he discarded in the trash.

-Sanders is charged with 35 counts of forcible sexual assault involving ten victims ages 14-42, in nine separate incidents.
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