IFS can perform investigations for law enforcement. We have various fields of expertise which you can see here. We work and have worked for several law enforcement agencies. These cases mainly involve touch DNA at the moment. Since 2016 we also have the ASCLD accreditation which will make it easier for us to work in the US.
What can we do for you?
Because IFS has more experience than any other forensic lab in the field of touch DNA we can reinvestigate cases which are still unsolved. Often there is physical contact between perpetrator and a victim where the perpetrator did not leave blood, salvia and/or semen. In this type of cases touch DNA is the route to go. As soon as a perpetrator touches a victim he will leave his/her DNA. The more force applied the bigger the chance of obtaining good DNA profiles. Another issue with perpetrators is that of they are excited and or scared which, in my believe, makes them shed more DNA than an average persons. In the hundreds of touch DNA cases we did perform DNA testing on we seemed to find more DNA of the perpetrator on incriminating places than that of other persons known to the victim. We are more capable of finding touch DNA than other forensic labs. We use alternate light sources but with much more different methods and different filters in order to find very small amounts of sweat let by a perpetrator. Below a picture of a bra where IFS found incriminating DNA on the inside between the cups.
One of the problems of heavily injured victims is that you nearly always find their DNA. Therefore, you need special skills and techniques to find the right traces with as little as possible DNA of the victim. IFS has more methods available for finding and sampling the right stains which are by perpetrators.
Wikipedia mentions several touch DNA cases IFS worked on. Because of the publicity around the exoneration cases, law enforcement can get the idea that touch DNA is not useful for the prosecution. In the Netherlands, the majority of the touch DNA cases helped to convict the perpetrators. I worked on miscarriages of justice in the Netherlands and touch DNA helped to overturn some of those, but compared to the thousands of convictions we have in the Netherlands based on touch DNA (always combined with other evidence of course) it is more helpful for the prosecution than the defense. Beside IFS, as far as I know, in the US touch DNA is used by law enforcement in New York, Florida, Colorado and California. Probably more forensic laboratory in the US are using it. Furthermore, touch DNA is used all around the world in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Germany, UK, Belgium, Italy and Canada. IFS won a Dauber hearing in the David Camm case about the use of touch DNA and low copy number DNA.
We can perform several kinds of DNA investigations for you:
- Standard DNA investigation
- Y-chromosomal DNA
- Low copy Number DNA
- Low template DNA
- Familial DNA comparisons
- Help with setting up a search in National database (CODIS) with partial and complex mixed DNA profiles
- Crime scene investigations
For interpretation of DNA results in the context of the case on an activity level (e.g. what happened at the crime scene) bloodstain pattern analysis and crime scene reconstruction can be performed by IFS as well.
IFS is more than happy to bring you in contact with other law enforcement agencies we have worked with. We worked on cases in states like New York, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa.
written by Richard Eikelenboom (CV)