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Types of Crime Laboratories - Police Department - Private/Fee for Service Laboratory - Government Laboratory

Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences

Chief Medical Examiner Deputy Chief Medical Examiner

Crime Lab

Medical Examiners Office

Forensic Chemistry

Physical Evidence

Forensic Chemistry
Chief of Forensic Chemistry (Ph.D)

Deputy Chief of Forensic Chemistry (Ph.D.)

Evidence Registration
Registrars (3)


Breath Alcohol Technical Supervision

Analysts (3)

Supervisor Asst. Supervisor (1) Analysts (9)

Asst. Supervisor (2) Analysts (6)

Physical Evidence
Chief of Physical Evidence (Ph.D)

Deputy Chief of Physical Evidence (Ph.D.)

Evidence Registration
Registrars (2)

Firearms and Toolmarks

Supervisor (M.S.)

Trace Evidence
Supervisor (M.S.)

Forensic Biology
Supervisor (Ph.D.)

Analysts (5)

Analysts (5)

Lead Analysts (3) (M.S.) Analysts (16)

Forensic Biologist
Assist investigative agencies in evaluating evidence for screening/collection Serological analysis of evidence items DNA analysis of evidence items to determine the possible source Provide statistical weight to any match Present findings in court

Goals of Evidence Examination

categorize evidence as to class characteristics
tread marks on tires body fluid stains: blood, saliva, semen, etc.

describe qualities that are unique to a particular item in a class
wear marks on tires genetic markers

Types of serological testing

Presumptive test - used to detect a property which is intrinsic, but not unique, to a particular biological fluid Confirmatory test - used to detect a property which is unique to that biological fluid

Sexual Assault Clothing

Presumptive Blood Test

Confirmatory test for blood







DNA Testing Methods

Short Tandem Repeat (STR) 50 copies starting DNA 25 cells, 1/500 drop of blood Y-chromosome (Y-STR) Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) 5-10 copies starting DNA 1/200 cell Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs)

Short Tandem Repeat

1 aatttttgta ttttttttag agacggggtt tcaccatgtt ggtcaggctg actatggagt tattttaagg 71 ttaatatata taaagggtat gatagaacac ttgtcatagt ttagaacgaa ctaacgatag atagatagat 141 agatagatag atagatagat agatagatag atagatagat agatagtttt tttttatctc actaaatagt 201 ctatagtaaa catttaatta ccaatatttg gtgcaattct gtcaatgagg ataaatgtgg aatcgttata 281 attcttaaga atatatattc cctctgagtt tttgatacct cagattttaa ggcc

Repeat Unit = GATA 15

13 Core STR Systems

TPOX D3S1358 D7S820 D8S1179 D16S539 D13S317 D21S11 D5S818 CSF1PO FGA vWA THO1 D18S51 Amelogenin

9 STR Locus Profile

D3S1358 vWA FGA

Amelogenin D8S1179 D21S11 D18S51

D5S818 D13S217 D7S820


11 different forms 66 combinations

1 2 3 4

Common Types of STR Analyses

Source attribution
Single source Mixture


Missing person/Body ID

Sample collection
skin cells blood


Suspects profile


Victims profile

9 STR Locus Profile

D3S1358 vWA FGA

Amelogenin D8S1179 D21S11 D18S51

D5S818 D13S217 D7S820

Source Attribution
Biological Evidence DNA Profile

Same or Different

Known Subject

DNA Profile

Comparisons to Knowns
Victim(s) & Suspect(s) Consensual sexual partners Family members, roommates, etc. Investigators, emergency health personnel Proxies for victim if no body, decomposition
Parents Children

When profiles are not the same

Biological Evidence

Known Subject

When profiles are the same

Biological Evidence

Known Subject

When there is a mixture

Biological Evidence

Known Subject

Mixtures in SA Samples
Non-Victim 10, 14 31, 31.2 16,16

Oral Swab Estranged Husband

Biological Father 12 or 16


Alleged Father Biological Father 12 or 16


Alleged Father 12 or 16 Biological Father


Power of discrimination
13 loci 7 to 22 alleles per locus Loci segregate independently during meiosis Random match probability
Typical RMP = 1 in 1.2 quadrillion

Random match probability

Data about the frequency of genetic markers in relevant population Texas (DPS) U.S. (FBI) Data about relevant population groups that would have access to crime scene Caucasians Southwest Hispanics African Americans

DNA Profile Frequency with all 13 CODIS STR loci

AmpFlSTR Identifiler (Applied Biosystems) TH01 D19 D3 AMEL D8 D5 VWA D21 TPOX D13 FGA D7 D16 D18 CSF D2

What would be entered into a DNA database for searching: 16,17 17,18 21,22 12,14 28,30 14,16 12,13 11,14 9,9 9,11 6,6 8,8 10,10

Locus D3S1358 VWA FGA D8S1179 D21S11 D18S51 D5S818 D13S317 D7S820 D16S539 THO1 TPOX CSF1PO

allele 16 17 21 12 28 14 12 11 9 9 6 8 10

value 0.2533 0.2815 0.1854 0.1854 0.1589 0.1374 0.3841 0.3394 0.1772 0.1126 0.2318 0.5348 0.2169

allele 17 18 22 14 30 16 13 14 11

value 0.2152 0.2003 0.2185 0.1656 0.2782 0.1391 0.1407 0.0480 0.3212

1 in 9.17 8.87 12.35 16.29 11.31 26.18 9.25 30.69 31.85 13.8 18.62 3.50 21.28

Combined 9.17 81 1005 16,364 185,073 4,845,217 44,818,259 1.38 x 109 4.38 x 1010 6.05 x 1011 1.13 x 1013 3.94 x 1013 8.37 x 1014 P R O D U C T R U L E

The Random Match Probability for this profile in the U.S. Caucasian population is 1 in 837 trillion (1012)

A good DNA match

Blood stain on victims clothes
Full 9-locus DNA profile Single contributor Matches Defendant

Random match probability

1 in 700 trillion 1 person in a population = 100,000 earths

Jurys conclusion
Its the Defendants blood







Control region (D-loop)


22 tRNAs 2 rRNAs

Heavy (H) strand

cyt b

V 16S rRNA L1 ND1

13 genes

P E ND6 ND5 L2 S2 H ND4

16,569 bp
Light (L) strand


I M ND2 W 9-bp deletion



Figure 10.1, J.M. Butler (2005) Forensic DNA Typing, 2nd Edition 2005 Elsevier Academic Press

DNA Sequence Data

Differences from Reference Sequence

mtDNA sequences from tested samples are aligned with the reference rCRS sequence (e.g., positions 16071-16140)
16090 16100 16110 16120 16130 16140





Differences are reported by the position and the nucleotide change (compared to the rCRS)
Sample Q 16093C 16129A Sample K 16093C 16129A

Adapted from Figure 10.8, J.M. Butler (2005) Forensic DNA Typing, 2nd Edition 2005 Elsevier Academic Press

Value of Y-Chromosome Markers

Forensic casework on sexual assault evidence Paternity testing Missing persons investigations Human migration and evolutionary studies Historical and genealogical research

Male-specific amplification (can avoid differential extraction to separate sperm and epithelial cells) Male children can be tied to fathers in motherless paternity cases Patrilineal male relatives may be used for reference samples Lack of recombination enables comparison of male individuals separated by large periods of time Surnames usually retained by males; can make links where paper trail is limited

Map of Y Chromosome STR Markers

Nucleic Acids Res. 28(2), e8 (2000)

PCR product size (bp)

Figure A7.1, J.M. Butler (2005) Forensic DNA Typing, 2nd Edition 2005 Elsevier Academic Press

(A) Y-PLEX 6 (FAM-labeled loci)

PCR product size (bp)

Figure A7.2, J.M. Butler (2005) Forensic DNA Typing, 2nd Edition 2005 Elsevier Academic Press

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)

Rapid results Aids in exclusion of non-matching samples Less labor intensive Usually less expensive Screening assays are essentially a presumptive test prior to final confirmatory DNA sequencing.

Sequencing is necessary to certify that every position matches between a question and a known

Primer Extension Assay

The CSI Effect

Increase in admissions to Forensic Science programs Increase in the number of Forensic Science programs Unrealistic expectations from investigators, prosecutors, and jurors Increase in the volume and number of weird requests Smarter criminals Complainants collecting own evidence

Strange cases
Boy allegedly sexually assaulted by dog Possible finger in soda can Headless/Footless guy (months apart) Cinderfella

How fast can you get DNA?

Serology screening (sexual assault kit) 4 hours DNA extraction 5 hours Quantitation 2 hours Amplification 3 hours Capillary Electrophoresis (single capillary/25 injections) 12 hours

Total time (minus interpretation and report writing) = 27 hours

Interesting cases

July 8, 2006 Sarah Anne Walker

Couple discovers woman face down on the floor of a model home in McKinney Woman had been stabbed 27 times Missing a Rolex watch and ring Witness observes white Ford Mustang around time of assault

Scenario Crime of passion No suspects Submitted over 100 evidence items Fingernail clippings Swabbings of possible blood from kitchen sink, miniblinds, door knobs and locks, blood trail The p-trap and garbage disposal Swabbing of bite marks on body Elimination standards (15) from everyone who had access to the model home

DNA profiles obtained from evidence

Fingernail clippings mixture of Walker and Unknown male Unknown male profile from blood stain from kitchen sink Unknown male profile from blood stain on miniblinds Unknown male profile from deadbolt on door

CODIS Combined DNA Index System

Electronic Database maintained by the FBI Goal of CODIS To link crimes to each other & convicted offenders Contains DNA profiles of DNA from crime scenes (255,911) and convicted felons (6,730,749) Contains different levels National, State, & Local to exchange & compare DNA profiles Hits as of February 2009 85,600 Assisted in 84,700 investigations

NDIS National Level

(FBI Laboratory)

State Level

(Austin, Texas)

(Richmond, Virginia)


LDIS (Garland DPS)

LDIS (Roanoke)

LDIS (Norfolk)

Local Level

CODIS Convicted offender hit

Capital Murder Trial - October 2007 Received the Death Penalty

Shotgun Bandit (Bandana Rapist)

June 6, 2005 3:00am Victim #1 19 yr old female Home invasion robbery - couple robbed at gunpoint Suspect forces female to perform oral sex Suspect ejaculates in her hair Forced to brush her teeth DNA on seminal fluid in hair profile of unknown male

June 14, 2005 5:00am Victim #2 20 yr old female; Victim #3 21 yr old female (CSI girls) Victim #2 - Awoken by suspect with shotgun Suspect wearing blue bandana Asked for money Victim #3 asleep in other room; awoken by suspect; sent to bathroom Victim #2 forced to perform oral sex Victim #3 forced to perform oral sex Forced to rinse mouth with mouthwash; Victim spits on shirt on way to bathroom Victims swabbed mouths; bagged hands while waiting for police DNA on shirt mixture; Y-STRs

November 3, 2005 4:00am Victim #4 21 yr old female Awoken by suspect with shotgun Asked for money Vaginally and orally assaulted Forced to spit into toilet Forced to drive suspect to ATM Vaginally and orally assaulted a second time Forced to sit in the bathtub Suspect left ammunition belt at scene Kit neg.; DNA on belt partial unknown male profile

May 15, 2006 3:30am Victim #5 26 yr old female Suspect entered through dog door Awoke to find suspect in bedroom Suspect said had knife Forced to drive to ATM and withdraw $1000 Returned to residence; suspect had gun Vaginally assaulted Forced to shower DNA of vaginal swab unknown male profile

April 24, 2007 hit profile entered by Garland DPS Frisco woman raped Bound her hands and duct taped mouth Pillow on her face and stabbed her 3 times Victim played dead and attempted to get to the front door Suspect caught her and stabbed her 2 more times

March 27, 2008 Suspect has been arrested attempting to rob ATM Shotgun in his possession DNA performed on jail jumpsuit mixture of DNA from 2 males and 1 female gloves from car match female on jumpsuit March 31, 2008 Obtain soda bottles from suspects trash partial profile; Match Sting operation to obtain DNA from cousin pen no DNA profile obtained Envelope partial profile; NO Match

April 3, 2008 Submit buccal swab from suspect DNA profile matches unknown male Conservative RMP statistic 1 in 14.4 quadrillion (1 in population of 2 million earths)

Stacy McDonald Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences

Transfusion effect
Blood following ER transfusion

Autopsy hair standard

Missing Person
Missing Person

Biological Parents

15,X & 16,X

16,X & 16,X

19,X & 25,X

Missing Person
15,X Biological Parents & 16,X Alleged Mother 16,X & 16,X 19,X & 25,X

Alleged Father

Missing Person
15,X Biological Parents & 16,X Alleged Mother 16,X & 16,X 19,X & 25,X

Alleged Father

Calculation of the quantity of DNA in a cell

1. Molecular Weight of a DNA Basepair = 618g/mol
A =: 313 g/mol; T: 304 g/mol; G = 329 g/mol; C: 289 g/mol; A-T base pairs = 617 g/mol G-C base pairs = 618 g/mol

2. Molecular weight of DNA = 1.85 x1012 g/mol

There are 3 billion base pairs in a haploid cell ~3 x 109 bp (~3 x 109 bp) x (618 g/mol/bp) = 1.85 x 1012 g/mol

3. Quantity of DNA in a haploid cell = 3 picograms

1 mole = 6.02 x 1023 molecules (1.85 x 1012 g/mol) x (1 mole/6.02 x 1023 molecules) = 3.08 x 10-12 g = 3.08 picograms (pg) A diploid human cell contains ~6 pg genomic DNA

4. One ng of DNA contains the DNA from 167 diploid cells

1 ng genomic DNA (1000 pg)/6pg/cell = ~333 copies of each locus (2 per 167 diploid genomes)

Identity vs Possible Source

When the RMP is sufficiently small
Individual A is the source of the DNA To a reasonable degree of certainty, Individual A is the source of the DNA

Simple Makes prosecutors happy

Identity cant be proven No uniform generally accepted standard Not all DNA profiles are good enough

mtDNA polymorphisms