DNA Labs International solves significant cold cases with QIAGEN workflow
QIAGEN’s ForenSeq Kintelligence System recently used by DNA Labs International in the U.S. to solve unidentified remains case in Oregon and 51-year-old criminal investigation in Georgia
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — QIAGEN (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) and DNA Labs International announced today that DLI has recently solved two decades-old “cold cases” using QIAGEN solutions.
The products involved are ForenSeq Kintelligence System for forensic genetic genealogy, in conjunction with the GEDmatch database, highlighting the effectiveness and growing adoption of this new approach to human identification.
- In Oregon, a longstanding case was solved with DLI’s assistance by identifying the previously unidentified remains of Tanice “Tana” Laatch, which were found in 2005. Despite extensive efforts, the identity remained unknown until the Oregon State Police Medical Examiner submitted skeletal remains to DLI. By utilizing QIAGEN’s ForenSeq Kintelligence Kit for forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG) to sequence targeted DNA regions, a profile suitable for genealogy research was produced. The identification of the human remains was completed after this profile was uploaded to the GEDmatch database, a law enforcement-dedicated portal for DNA comparison and genealogy analysis.
- In Georgia, a 51-year-old criminal investigation involving the abduction, rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl was solved through the collaboration of DLI with the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office. A significant breakthrough was achieved when DLI used the ForenSeq Kintelligence System to create a “SNP” profile from a DNA sample retrieved from the crime scene. (A SNP profile is a distinctive genetic fingerprint based on single nucleotide polymorphisms, which represent variations in DNA building blocks and can be utilized for identification and ancestry analysis.) This profile enabled the identification of distant relatives in GEDmatch, ultimately pointing to the potential suspect.
Rachel Oefelein, Chief Scientific Officer at DNA Labs International, stated: “Our mission at DNA Labs International is to help law enforcement provide justice and answers to the families and victims of crime. This case had challenging samples due to the passage of time that led to extreme degradation, the breaking apart of the DNA. These degradation difficulties made previous testing unsuccessful with other technologies. DNA Labs International was able to use the ForenSeq Kintelligence system because it can handle degradation, which ultimately led to the identification of the suspect. This same technology can be used on current cases today to prevent them from going cold.”
“The technological advancement in forensic genetic genealogy has helped us obtain a concrete resolution to a crime that would otherwise not be solved. In this case, it has removed any doubts on the identity of the perpetrator, helping us provide some long-awaited answers to this family. This development has proven to be an essential component of the modern criminal justice system,“ said Flynn Broady, Jr., District Attorney, Cobb Judicial Circuit in Georgia.
“QIAGEN is proud to offer comprehensive Sample to Insight solutions in human identification, providing an end-to-end approach from crime scene evidence recovery to courtroom presentation. Our solutions for DNA purification, sequencing, and investigative lead generation are designed to handle even the most challenging samples,” said Richard Price, Vice President and head of the HID and Forensics business at QIAGEN. “We are honored to collaborate with partners like DNA Labs International, who expertly leverage our workflow to work with authorities to deliver justice for victims of crime and their families.”
DLI has used forensic genetic genealogy to help solve many other cases. Their first successful case with ForenSeq Kintelligence was the identification of the previously unidentified remains of Kenneth W. Heasley from a molar that had been found 22 years after he had gone missing.
ForenSeq Kintelligence is the only sequencing-based assay designed for FIGG, combining a streamlined workflow for efficient assessment of forensically relevant SNPs with a curated set of 10,230 SNP markers explicitly chosen for extended kinship outcomes. This innovative technology complies with the highest privacy standards by excluding medically informative and minor allele frequency SNPs found in whole-genome sequencing (WGS) or array-based workflows.
QIAGEN is dedicated to providing cost-effective next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflows that surpass traditional methods in performance. These workflows leverage high-throughput capabilities, allowing for simultaneous analysis of multiple genetic regions and achieving higher resolution. This ultimately results in increased accuracy and efficiency of identification while offering unparalleled genetic insights.
QIAGEN has a leading position in the human identification and forensics market, having pioneered the introduction of commercial DNA purification kits for forensic casework samples in the late 1990s. Today, QIAGEN offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for processing sexual assault samples, identifying missing persons, age estimation and tissue identification, anthropology research, and kinship testing.
In 2023, QIAGEN expanded its range of downstream NGS-based forensic products with the acquisition of Verogen, a leader in the use of NGS technologies, to further drive the future of human identification and forensic investigation. QIAGEN now provides sequencing and bioinformatics solutions, as well as a genealogy database, offering the most complete portfolio in the human identification and forensics market.
More information on QIAGEN’s solutions for human identification can be found here: https://www.qiagen.com/de/applications/human-identity-and-forensics
About DNA Labs International
Since 2004, DNA Labs International has been providing clients with exceptional quality service based on open communications, equal attention to the importance of every case, and accurate and reliable results every time. They provide the latest technology available to solve cases, such as Forensic Genetic Genealogy, SpentShell™ for fired cartridge casings, the M-VAC®, a wet vacuum DNA collection tool, and STRmix®, a software program that can solve previously inconclusive DNA results. DNA Labs International was the first ISO 17025:2017, and FBI QAS accredited forensic laboratory processing Forensic Genetic Genealogy cases from start to finish.
QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands-based holding company, is the leading global provider of Sample to Insight solutions that enable customers to gain valuable molecular insights from samples containing the building blocks of life. Our sample technologies isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from blood, tissue and other materials. Assay technologies make these biomolecules visible and ready for analysis. Bioinformatics software and knowledge bases interpret data to report relevant, actionable insights. Automation solutions tie these together in seamless and cost-effective workflows. QIAGEN provides solutions to more than 500,000 customers around the world in Molecular Diagnostics (human healthcare) and Life Sciences (academia, pharma R&D and industrial applications, primarily forensics). As of September 30, 2023, QIAGEN employed more than 6,000 people in over 35 locations worldwide. Further information can be found at http://www.qiagen.com.