Watch and listen to Shera LaPoint discuss key concepts and stories from The Gene Hunter
Republic Books is proud to announce the upcoming release of the Gene Hunter by Shera LaPoint, a native of South Louisiana with deep Cajun roots. Shera turned to the ancestry.com website to learn more about her family tree after the death of her grandfather, and discovered a life-changing new passion.
The DNA that is in the systems that police used is a system called CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System. Now, there’s actually three levels for that. There is a local state and national level. So, if someone is arrested and depending on what state they’re in, their DNA is tested.
One of the most fascinating things to me that have happened in the last few years is the use of DNA in what’s called Investigative Genetic Genealogy. It is now possible and it is being used to solve major crimes. And one of the amazing stats that I came across was the fact that there are over
A very interesting case that I’m working is an unidentified body that is known as Princess Blue. She was found in 1990 on the side of a road. A gentleman stopped to relieve himself, and found the bones of this young woman on the side of the road near Manvel, Texas.
I was introduced to Dorothy by a friend of mine about a year and a half ago. We live in the same town and I knew of her but I didn’t really know her. Dorothy was an adoptee and she was born in New Orleans, but she moved to Bunkie because her dad was from around the area when she was about 11 years old.
As time went on, as I was doing these searches and what I called coincidences at that time were happening, I really began to think that this is really part of something much bigger than myself. I feel that God put me in this place for a reason.
One of the quotes that I’ve used since I started giving talks at the library is by Mr. Bennett Greenspan with Family Tree DNA, and he says “If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question.” Amazingly, that’s about the most true statement I think I’ve ever heard when it comes to DNA.
In 2003, my first grandfather died and I grew up in a very close family. But after he died, I realized that I really did not know much about his parents and his family other than his siblings. And I was very curious to find out that information.
When I started this work, I think I knew one adoptee. And when I got involved with this, it really blew my mind at how many people were either adopted or did not know who their fathers were. I started my own genealogy and researching.
The fact that I am Cajun and all my DNA matches are Cajun makes it a little bit more difficult to do searches. One of the reasons I did DNA was to be able to separate people who are related to me on my mother and my father’s side.
I was contacted by law enforcement because I administered his kit, and they were trying to identify this body that was found September 8th, 1991 in the Texas Killing fields.