WASHINGTON, D.C. May 17, 2018
STRmix™ – the sophisticated forensic software used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously thought to be too complex to interpret – has been used for the first time in a trial in Brooklyn, New York, leading to the conviction of a man for murdering his estranged wife.
Eric Gonzalez, District Attorney of King’s County in Brooklyn, says the 48-year-old man killed his wife in the backseat of her car, stabbing her multiple times.
According to Gonzalez, the trial was the first in Brooklyn to use STRmix, which has revolutionized DNA interpretation by allowing the analysis of complex mixtures and DNA profiles recovered from minuscule amounts of DNA that are vital to many criminal investigations.
Gonzalez says the evidence showed that blood found in the victim’s car was a mixture of her DNA and the defendant’s, and the t-shirt the defendant was wearing contained a mixture of DNA from both of them. Gonzalez notes, “In this case, there was blood from both the victim and the defendant, and the software assisted the analyst in isolating the defendant’s DNA.”
STRmix™ was developed by John Buckleton, DSc, FRSNZ, and Jo-Anne Bright of the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), and Duncan Taylor from Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA).
Thirty-one U.S. labs now routinely use STRmix™ in resolving DNA profiles. This includes everything from federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI to state and local agencies, including the Michigan State Police, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the California Department of Justice.
It also has been used to interpret DNA evidence in thousands of cases in labs in Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada.
When the product is used to interpret profiles, it assists in the discrimination of victim and perpetrator DNA and reduces the likelihood of wrongful implication in criminal activities.