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. And I guess depending on which level crime they commit would depend on where that DNA actually ends up. So, just because someone is arrested in a state and you look for their DNA, it may not actually be in that particular area that you’re looking for. Now, the way that DNA works is there’s about 20 markers that are tested when they test DNA for criminals. That DNA is matched. They look for an exact match when they look for that DNA.
If you’re a criminal and you haven’t yet committed a crime, say a rapist, your DNA is not going to be in that system. And I would think that most rapists or serious criminals are pretty smart. Their DNA is not going to already be in that system. Some states now allow what’s called familial DNA where you can actually run that DNA for a family match, a parent, a child, a sibling. That gives law enforcement one more avenue to help solve crimes. That’s actually what was used in the baby generate case with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Department. They were able to find a sibling match to the baby’s DNA.
Now, the next step would be genetic genealogy. If there’s no DNA in the police system, you can actually run either that unidentified person or that criminal’s DNA through a process that we use to upload to GEDmatch and family tree, and it will actually help us to find shared ancestors and DNA matches, and build family trees just like we do adoptees to find the criminals. That’s a very new tool for law enforcement to be able to use, and I’m very excited about the years to come and how that’s going to affect law enforcement.