Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick is a pioneer in solving cold cases using genetic genealogy. Since 2011, her company Identifinders has worked with dozens of law enforcement agencies to develop investigative leads by comparing both Y-STR and autosomal SNP profiles developed from crime scenes to genetic genealogy databases. In 2020, Identifinders was named a finalist in the Gordon-Thomas-Honeywell DNA Hit of the Year competition for its Y-STR work on the 1991 Sarah Yarborough homicide case, the first case where genetic genealogy was used to generate investigative leads, Identifinders placed fifth out of 60 entries from 20 countries. This was the second time Identifinders received this distinction. In 2018, Identifinders was named fifth runner up in the competition for its Y-STR work with the 1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders, the first case solved using genetic genealogy. Identifinders placed fifth out of 60 entries from 14 countries.
Since then, Identifinders has distinguished itself in helping agencies solve their most challenging cases using genetic genealogy autosomal SNP testing, including the identification of the identity theft Joseph Newton Chandler III case from Cleveland, OH, the first case solved using Y-STR and autosomal SNP testing, several weeks before the Golden State Killer was identified using similar techniques. There have been many others whose success has been based on Identifinders’ knowledge of degraded DNA and its innovative approach and attention to detail. We work together with law enforcement, combining the results of our genetic genealogy research with investigative leads from agency case files.
Dr. Fitzpatrick is a member of the Vidocq Society and an Associate Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science.