No one has hours to scour the papers to keep up with the latest news, so we’ve curated the top news stories in the field of Forensic Science for this week. Here’s what you need to know to get out the door!
Miami-Dade police said that testing on DNA from Dilicia Mejia’s body led to a positive match identifying her stepdad Raul Mata, 46, as the primary suspect in her death. That testing wasn’t available at the time of the murder.
A new syndicated series from CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace debuts next month, focusing on how new technologies — DNA profiling, genetic genealogy, and familial searches — are helping bring closure to cold cases.
Occasionally, television can surprise you, move you in a way you don’t experience on an everyday basis. Such was the case last week when Archie Williams reached the finale of America’s Got Talent. Williams spent 36 years wrongfully imprisoned for a rape and stabbing he didn’t commit. As one of their oldest cases, the Innocence Project worked for more than 20 years to prove Williams’ innocence. In 2019, they succeeded and barely a year later, Williams received a standing ovation on the stage of a television show he used to watch in prison.
Although initially believed that Brianna might have run away, it was later determined she could have been a victim of foul play. Investigators have pursued multiple leads throughout the years, but none have led to Brianna. The Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit has partnered with Othram in the hopes of generating a lead using DNA evidence recovered during the investigation.
Tuesday marks nearly four decades since a woman’s remains were discovered in Dade County, Georgia. Last year, a man deemed the nation’s most prolific serial killer confessed to the crime but investigators still don’t know who the woman is.
Sasinouski said the tracking system is also helping meet state mandates. Police departments are now required to turn evidence in sexual assault cases over to the state lab within 10 days. She added that the lab typically processes them in 37 days, under the state mandate of 50 days.
Last week, the largest-ever international survey on genomics found that less than half of those surveyed would share their DNA for research and medical purposes, citing trust as a major factor in their decision. But what if that decision wasn’t left up to the individual? What if they visited their doctor for a medical issue, only to have law enforcement seize their biological sample years later for an investigation?
The Detroit Police Department and its law enforcement partners throughout southeast Michigan are continuing efforts to identify the remains of unknown homicide victims using DNA and new technology that were unavailable when the victims were buried.
The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science has updated its structure and improved several processes. These changes will enable OSAC, which is administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to more quickly make high-quality, science-based standards available to forensic laboratories.