Male-specific DNA testing reopens cases

Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman Keith Kameg informed Historic City News that the state’s police departments, sheriff’s offices and other crime fighting agencies now have another way to link a suspect with the crime scene — male-specific DNA testing.

The Y-STR test targets the male Y chromosome. It ignores the female DNA and reveals only the male DNA.

“Before this test, where male and female DNA has been mixed, our analysts could not clearly differentiate and identify the male DNA,” Jacksonville FDLE Lab Supervisor Marcella F. Scott explained. “Now, with this test, we can.”

Analysts in the crime laboratories of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have started using a technique known as “Y-STR DNA testing” resulting in the identification and arrests of a violent rape suspect in Gainesville and in connection with a Tampa homicide.

“Our expanded ability to test the male chromosome will result in the resolution of cold cases and future cases,” FDLE Commissioner Gerald M. Bailey told reporters today. “We are pleased with how this method of DNA testing is able to assist law enforcement by providing the latest developments in science and technology.”

According to FDLE Forensic Services Director Vickie Gardner, the Y-STR testing is being performed in violent crime casework where standard DNA testing was previously attempted without success.

“When the investigation would benefit from this male-specific DNA testing, we’re taking a second look,” Gardner said.

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