NYS Commission on Forensic Science approves use of familial DNA testing on victims' remains
A new move by the state could help solve crimes by giving local investigators a new high-tech tool to help them identify unknown victims.
The state's Commission on Forensic Science, which oversees state crime labs, approved the use of familial DNA testing on victims remains. Previously, it was limited to identifying suspects.
The commission also issued permits to two private labs to conduct genetic genealogy tracing. Genetic genealogy is a procedure in which the DNA profile of an unknown crime victim is compared to profiles uploaded by consumers to public genealogy websites.
Any close associations are then analyzed by professional genealogists to trace relatives of the unknown person.
As News 12 previously reported, Suffolk police teamed up with the FBI and used genetic genealogy to identity one of the victims of the Gilgo Beach serial killer. Valerie Mack was identified through a link to a biological aunt.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart says she applauds the state's decision to give law enforcement greater access to these techniques.