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Law Enforcement > Bureau of Criminal Investigation > Laboratory Division > DNA Unit

DNA Unit

The DNA Unit identifies body fluids, primarily semen and blood, and then analyzes the specimen for DNA. It also collects and preserves trace evidence and potential contact DNA evidence. Investigations from a range of offenses, including burglaries, homicides and sexual assaults, yield samples for analysis.
 
Each DNA profile detected is then compared with reference samples from individuals associated with the case in an effort to match an unknown profile to an identified profile. The laboratory subsequently will search the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for a match in databases that include profiles from local, state and federal databases. 
 
What information is required in a case synopsis?
The synopsis narrative must be detailed enough to establish how the evidence submitted is related to the crime and should convey any potential persons involved. This information dictates the laboratory workflow and CODIS eligibility.
 
How many evidence items can I submit for DNA testing?
The DNA evidence submission policy limits the number of items submitted on the first submission based on case offense and circumstances. Note: The quantity listed below refers to evidence items, not DNA elimination standards.
 
What is a DNA standard?
A DNA standard is a sample collected from a known individual. Typically, two oral swabs are collected by using sterile swabs and rubbing them against the inside cheek of the oral cavity. The swabs should be air dried and packaged in a paper container with a label describing who the swabs were collected from.
 
What is considered touch DNA?
An evidence item that is briefly handled may be sampled for touch DNA.  Touch DNA submissions are considered in regards to violent cases.  Cigarette butts, beverage containers, and clothing swabbed for the purpose of identifying a primary wearer of the garment are not considered “touch DNA” samples.
 
Under what circumstances can DNA analysis be expedited in the lab?
Submitting agencies may request expedited DNA results if the investigation circumstances/evidence items meet the following criteria:
-The perpetrator is unknown
-Violent crime against a person
-Evidence directly related to the crime
-Samples consist of body fluids (no touch DNA)
OR
-Upcoming trial date
Contact a DNA Laboratory Supervisor to submit a Rush Request.
 
What kind of biological fluid screening tests are currently in use at BCI?
BCI currently has presumptive tests for the presence of blood, human blood, urine, feces, amylase (a component of saliva). These tests are sensitive, but not specific to the body fluid.
A combination of presumptive tests and microscopic examinations are used to screen for the presence of semen.
 
What type of DNA Technology is currently in use at BCI?
-STR DNA typing
-YSTR DNA typing (male specific)

What determines CODIS eligibility?
CODIS is a DNA database that enables computerized searches of DNA results between hundreds of laboratories throughout the country. CODIS eligibility is based on:
  • qualifications/accreditation status of the forensic laboratory
  • evidence must be related to the crime and presumed to be from the perpetrator of the crime
  • quality of the DNA profile
If my suspect is in the database, do I need to collect a DNA standard for comparisons?
Yes. The database is an investigative tool. The known criminal offender samples in the CODIS database do not have a documented chain of custody because they are not considered evidence.  Therefore, if the evidence sample were to match an offender sample in the database, the laboratory would issue a letter conveying the investigative lead and would request a new DNA standard from the individual be submitted for comparison purposes. Upon submission of the DNA standard, a formal DNA report would be issued that includes the statistical weight of the DNA association.
 
When can I expect to receive a DNA report?
Generally, DNA reports are issued within approximately 30 days of the evidence submission.
 
DNA Section Submission Policies
In order to efficiently serve our customers, the laboratory has incorporated the submission polices for this section:
DNA Submission Policy

DNA Section Database Policies
 DNA Database Policy

DNA Section Laboratory Contacts
London BCI Laboratory
Kristen Slaper
Laboratory Supervisor
Kristen.Slaper@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
 

Sarah Smith
Laboratory Supervisor
Sarah.Smith@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
 
 
Bowling Green BCI Laboratory
Cassandra Agosti
Laboratory Supervisor
Cassandra.Agosti@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
 
Richfield BCI Laboratory
Russell Edelheit
Laboratory Supervisor
Russell.Edelheit@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
 
Chad Britton
Laboratory Supervisor
Chad.Britton@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
 
Brenda Gerardi
Laboratory Supervisor
Brenda.Gerardi@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
 
Lewis Maddox
DNA Technical Leader
Lewis.Maddox@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov