Colleen Fitzpatrick

President and Founder of Identifinders International

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, the President and Founder of Identifinders International LLC, is widely recognized as the founder of modern Forensic Genealogy.  She has worked several hundred cold case violent crimes and Doe cases using genetic genealogy analysis.  Identifinders merited fifth place in 2020 in the prestigious DNA Hit of the Year competition sponsored by Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs for the 1991 Sarah Yarborough case, the first case where forensic genetic genealogy was used to generate investigative leads (2011). This was the second such award.  In conjunction with the Phoenix Police Dept., Identifinders merited fifth place in the 2018 competition, for solving the 1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders, the first case ever solved using genetic genealogy (2015).

Dr. Fitzpatrick is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) and a member of the Vidocq Society.  As Co-Founder the DNA Doe Project, she was responsible in March 2018 for the first successful forensic genetic genealogy identifications using autosomal SNP testing, Joseph Newton Chandler III and Buckskin Girl.  She has pioneered the application of whole genome sequencing to low level and highly degraded DNA and the deconvolution of mixtures, enabling identifications that otherwise were believed to have gone beyond the reach of modern technology.

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s has collaborated with the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, the US Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Office, the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, the University of Arizona, Harvard Medical School and other noted professional organizations. In addition to applying her expertise to cold case work, Dr. Fitzpatrick had been a key member of the teams that have exposed two international Holocaust literary frauds. She had been the Forensic Genealogist on several historical projects including the Identification of the Unknown Child on the Titanic and the Abraham Lincoln DNA Project.

Dr. Fitzpatrick lectures widely in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  She has appeared in hundreds of domestic and international newspapers and magazines, and on international radio and television programs. These include the New York Times, Dateline NBC, the BBC World News Tonight, RTE Ireland Television’s Nationwide, Radio New Zealand, The Melbourne Sun, CNN, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, More Magazine, Scientific American, and many more.  She is the author of three books:  Forensic GenealogyDNA & Genealogy, and The Dead Horse Investigation:  Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone.