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Webinar: Practical Aspects of Forensic Genetic and Genealogy & What It’s Revealing about the Criminal Justice System

December 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Join us for a lunchtime discussion with Dr. Collen Fitzpatrick as she speaks about the practical aspects of forensic genealogy.

About this event

The New Jersey Association of Forensic Science presents

Date and time:  Wed, December 8, 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM CST

Practical Aspects of Forensic Genetic and Genealogy & What It’s Revealing about the Criminal Justice System

Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, Identifinders International LLC

Forensic Genetic Genealogy (FGG) has evolved from a miracle cure for the common cold case to its recognition as a practical tool that can be used to generate investigative leads in cases that were thought to be unsolvable. Arguably, FGG is now to DNA identification what CODIS was in the 1990s.

In this webinar, Dr. Fitzpatrick will provide insight into the practical implementation of FGG by law enforcement agencies interested in developing their own in-house FGG units. She will also explore what FGG has revealed to us about the criminal justice system in the form of missed opportunities to solve decades-old crimes through CODIS. While FGG does not require an offender to be in an FGG database to be identified, he (or his immediate family member in the case of familial searching) must be present in CODIS to achieve a hit. For this reason, many offenders identified through FGG had fallen through the cracks and continued to offend. To illustrate how effective FGG is compared to conventional CODIS identification, Dr. Fitzpatrick will present the results of a survey taken of 100 cold cases solved through FGG, categorized according to date of the offense and criminal record of the offender.

She will conclude with a discussion of public opinion as a major influence on the continued use of crowd-sourced FGG databases as an integral part of this game-changing investigative tool.

 NJAFS Webinar with Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick image

About the speaker:

Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, is the President and Founder of Identifinders International. She has worked several hundred cold case violent crimes and unidentified human remains (UHR) cases using forensic genetic genealogy. Dr. Fitzpatrick is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) and a member of the Vidocq Society. She has pioneered the application of whole genome sequencing to low level and highly degraded DNA and the deconvolution of mixtures, enabling identifications that otherwise were believed to have gone beyond the reach of modern technology. Dr. Fitzpatrick has twice been honored as a finalist in the international Gordon-Honeywell-Thomas Cold Case Hit of the Year competition. She lectures widely in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.