ASCLD Train the Director – Investigative Genetic Genealogy: Background and Crime Lab Strategy

ASCLD Train the Director – Investigative Genetic Genealogy: Background and Crime Lab Strategy

← Back to Series

This webinar originally occurred on January 23, 2020
Duration: 1.5 hours


Investigative Genetic Genealogy is a recently developed technique that generates new leads on previously unsolved cases where DNA from the suspect is present at the crime scene.

In situations where DNA evidence doesn’t result in a hit in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), additional analysis of different target areas of DNA can now be conducted to develop new investigate leads by surfacing potential relatives via publicly available databases. Individuals have voluntarily placed their genetic information in these databases, permitting it to be searched to find potential relatives of the perpetrator.

Genealogy is then used to trace family lines in an effort to generate leads for direct comparison to crime scene data.

We began by discussing the theory and development of Investigative Genetic Genealogy, including some ethical and legal considerations raised by this technique.  Additionally, we explored the current status of case investigations, the impact on crime laboratories, implementation strategies, and recommendations for jurisdictions considering applying Investigative Genetic Genealogy to their unsolved cases.

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Learn the definition and process of Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) and it’s application to solving major unsolved crimes.
  2. Learn the bioethical implications of IGG.
  3. Learn the role of crime laboratories in IGG and potential implementation strategies.
  4. Learn the decision points and considerations for a successful IGG program.


  • Dr. Ray Wickenheiser | Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System, headquartered in Albany, New York

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence webinar has been provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.

Related Content

Landscape Study of Next Generation Sequencing Technologies for Forensic Applications

Date April 2023 Overview The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE), led by RTI International, provides valuable resources that promote the use of novel and innovative technologies in the forensic community. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)…

An Introduction to Forensic Genetic Genealogy Technology for Forensic Science Service Providers

Date September 2022 Overview DNA evidence can play a key role in investigations of cold case violent crimes and in cases of missing and unidentified individuals. Searching DNA profiles against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Combined DNA Index System…