Investigative Genetic Genealogy
A new tool available to prosecutors and detectives to resolve violent crime and unidentified human remains cases when traditional techniques have been exhausted or an immediate public threat exists. I've successfully identified dozens of unknown persons using this methodology.
IGG provides workable leads for law enforcement using DNA databases with testers who have agreed to assist them. The genealogy itself is not considered evidence and the genealogist doesn’t need to provide testimony. Existing protocols are followed in order to obtain suspect samples once the candidates have been identified.
IGG can used in both active and cold violent crime cases as well as identifying unknown human remains. It has resulted in numerous successful prosecutions.
Some successfully prosecuted IGG cases include:
More cases can be found on the ISOGG website.
Before IGG begins, an STR profile should have already been submitted to local, state, and national CODIS databases with no hits.
You will have already completed the first steps of IGG with a company like Parabon NanoLabs.
The lab would have uploaded the DNA profile to websites that cooperate with law enforcement and rated the likelihood of success of genealogical research. The lab may have also provided a round of genealogical research.
Addition rounds of genealogical research with the lab can be prohibitively expensive for small agencies.
Before We Begin
You choose how many hours of research will be contracted.
Local, state, and national CODIS databases continue to be monitored.
We gather all of the information obtained by the lab and their researchers.
I work closely with your agency to capitalize on your insights, leads, and resources to complete additional rounds of genealogical research.
Additional target tests may be requested from family members to prove a hypothesis.
Your agency decides when a suspect DNA sample should be obtained.
IGG is most likely to work for Americans of European descent, though the number of testers of other ethnic backgrounds is growing. Every family is unique so every case will be unique too. IGG can be time-consuming with no guarantee of a result. DNA samples that are contaminated or damaged may produce a skewed DNA profile or none at all. Additionally, detectives should be prepared to reach out to family members asking for voluntary samples. Thankfully, history has shown that people are generally willing to assist law enforcement.
Information about many of the legal and technical aspects of IGG can be found on the ISOGG website.