Forensics

The CHI Forensic Unit provides screening and DNA testing services of biological evidence related to criminal investigations.

The laboratory currently receives federal funding through the National Institute of Justice to process cases within the State of Texas. These funds allow CHI to provide standard DNA testing services (i.e., autosomal and Y chromosome STR typing) to law enforcement agencies within select North Texas counties at no charge. In addition to standard casework analyses and comparisons, specialty testing services, such as forensic paternity and kinship analyses, are provided to law enforcement agencies statewide.

Additionally, the CHI Forensic Unit provides assistance to Texas DPS to reduce the backlog of sexual assault cases awaiting biological screening and DNA testing within the State of Texas.


Testing Services

  • Autosomal STR Analysis
  • Y Chromosome STR Analysis

  • Human blood
  • Human semen

  • Homicide
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Assault – Criminal Paternity
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Property Crimes

  • Sexual assault kits
  • Possible semen stains
  • Possible blood stains

  • Possible blood, semen or saliva samples
  • Sexual assault kits
  • Fetal material/products of conception
  • Epidermal contact samples (accepted on a limited basis)

  • The completed Forensic Casework Evidence Submission Form must accompany each case submission. Please fill out the form fully and completely.
  • A brief case synopsis that explains the nature of the crime and details the origin of the evidence submitted and its relation to the offense is strongly encouraged.
  • CHI reports will be issued to the email addresses provided for the investigating agency on page one of the evidence submission form.
  • The Chain of Custody section must be signed and dated to indicate the release of the evidence to the laboratory for testing.

Forms for Submission

Physical items of evidence that meet CHI case and sample acceptance criteria may be submitted to the laboratory for analysis.  For those agencies with qualified crime scene personnel, swabs/cuttings from the evidence item may be submitted instead of the physical item.

 Due to limited storage and screening space, bulk items such as sheets, comforters, bedding, and other extremely large items are not accepted by the laboratory. Cuttings or swabs of suspected stains or biological fluids from these items may be submitted.

Guns and knives must be submitted in a manner that allows safe handling by CHI personnel.  Guns must be made safe and, where possible, submitted with a zip tie through the chamber to maintain the slide in a pulled back position.  Knives should be submitted in a cardboard box; zip ties may also be used to stabilize the knife during transport.

CHI cannot accept drugs or drug paraphernalia.  Swabs of the ?mouth area? of drug paraphernalia may be accepted on a limited basis when associated with an offense meeting CHI?s case acceptance criteria.

Submission of touch DNA samples is typically limited to weapons used to commit the crime.  Additionally, personal belongings of the assailant that were recovered from the crime scene that are generally expected to have more extensive contact with the person of interest, such as clothing, gloves, hats, and tools, may be submitted.  Swabs of crime scene surfaces for brief touch or contact with the person of interest are generally not accepted.  This includes swabs of door handles, light switches, steering wheels, vehicle consoles, and similar items.

Known victim samples should be submitted with all homicide, sexual assault, and criminal paternity case submissions.

Consensual partner knowns are strongly encouraged for sexual assault case submissions.

Suspect knowns should be submitted at the time of case submission where possible.  Alternatively, suspect knowns may be submitted at a later date.

Applicable supporting documentation should be provided with each case submission. Additional documentation is needed for sexual assault kits and items with prior serology testing.

Required Documentation:

  • A case synopsis or offense report that documents the nature of the offense, number assailants, and origin and context of the evidence must be provided with each case submission.
  • A sexual assault nurse examination or hospital report for each sexual assault kit submission.
  • Serology reports for any items submitted with prior serology testing conducted by another laboratory.

Cases can be submitted in person by appointment or shipped through an overnight trackable courier.

For submission appointments or shipping instructions, please call the property room at 1-800-763-3147.

Center for Human Identification
ATTN: Forensic Unit
CBH, 6th Floor
3500 Camp Bowie Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76107

The laboratory typically limits the number of samples processed for each case. Limits on the number of samples processed are intended to extend laboratory funding and resources to as many cases as possible.  The number and selection of samples to be tested are determined on a case-by-case basis and are based on the needs of the investigating agency and laboratory selection criteria.

CHI’s selection criteria will focus on the items of most probative value to the case and the items that are most likely to yield the highest quality:  interpretable DNA profiles. The most probative evidentiary items (e.g., items that could potentially link an assailant to a crime scene; items that could potentially link a victim to a suspect or property of the suspect) are prioritized for analysis.  Then the types of evidence that are more likely to yield higher quality interpretable DNA profiles are selected (e.g., biological fluids such as blood, semen, saliva) are prioritized over epidermal contact or touch evidence.

Processing of epidermal contact samples (samples with possible skin cells) is limited and determined on a case-by-case basis. In general, only weapons used to commit the crime and potential personal belongings of the assailant that were recovered from the crime scene will be considered.

CHI issues a report documenting the results and conclusions of all tests performed. Reports are issued via electronic mail to the investigating agency email addresses provided on the evidence submission form.

CHI analysts are available to discuss results and conclusions of the DNA evidence with the investigating and prosecuting agencies.  The results and conclusions may also be discussed with defense attorneys and third parties with permission from the investigating or prosecuting agency.  An analyst contact number is provided on the last page of all CHI reports.

CHI enters all eligible DNA profiles into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Profiles meeting the required criteria are uploaded to the state and/or national levels of CODIS.

CODIS hit notifications are sent to the investigating agency contact provided on the evidence submission form.

Upon notification of a convicted offender hit, the investigating agency should collect a known sample from the identified suspect and submit to CHI for testing. Once testing of the known sample is complete, a new report will be issued by CHI detailing the conclusions of the suspect comparison to the original evidence processed.


Our Forensic Team

Christina Capt | Forensic Analyst Technical Leader

Melissa Haas | Forensic Analyst Technical Leader

Rachel Burch | Senior Forensic Analyst

Farah Plopper | Senior Forensic Analyst

Darice Yoshishige | Senior Forensic Technologist

Kendra Felipe-Ortega | Senior Forensic Analyst

Tammy Staal | Senior Forensic Technologist

Jennifer Myler | Senior Forensic Analyst

Lauren Jones | Senior Forensic Analyst

Andrea Stinson | Senior Forensic Technologist

Amanda Rickerd | Senior Forensic Analyst

Allison Conway | Forensic Analyst

Kyle Merry | Forensic Analyst


Contact Us or Send Evidence to Us

Location 

  • Center for Human Identification | ATTN: Evidence Specialist 
  • CBH, 6th Floor | 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard | Fort Worth, TX 76107
  •  Local Number: 817-735-0606 | Fax: 817-735-0553 | Toll-Free: 1-800-763-3147 | Toll-Free Fax: 1-800-221-3515

 Email