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Investigative Genetic Genealogy: Background and Crime Lab Strategy

ASCLD Train the Director Series
Event Dates
Event Duration
90 minutes

Investigative Genetic Genealogy is a recently developed technique that generates new leads on previously unsolved cases where DNA from the suspect is present at the crime scene.

In situations where DNA evidence doesn’t result in a hit in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), additional analysis of different target areas of DNA can now be conducted to develop new investigate leads by surfacing potential relatives via publicly available databases. Individuals have voluntarily placed their genetic information in these databases, permitting it to be searched to find potential relatives of the person who committed the crime.

Genealogy is then used to trace family lines in an effort to generate leads for direct comparison to crime scene data.

We will begin by discussing the theory and development of Investigative Genetic Genealogy, including some ethical and legal considerations raised by this technique.  Additionally, we’ll explore the current status of case investigations, the impact on crime laboratories, implementation strategies, and recommendations for jurisdictions considering applying Investigative Genetic Genealogy to their unsolved cases.

Detailed Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn the definition and process of Investigative Genetic Genealogy and it’s application to solving major unsolved crimes.
  2. Learn the bioethical implications of IGG.
  3. Learn the role of crime laboratories in IGG and potential implementation strategies.
  4. Learn decision points and considerations for a successful IGG program.

Date Created: December 17, 2019