Saturday, May 09, 2015

Did dad send cheek-swab DNA to an ancestry firm? Read this.

Remember when we used to say, "One day, the police will use genetic information to track people down. They could even use the guy's dad's genetic information," and people used to say, "Ha ha, you Sci-Fi fans. You need to spend some time in the real world not with all that escapist bullshit!"

And then later they said, "I'm going to send a sample to that gene-e-o-logical firm because Nate Blumenthal from accounts payable found out he was 3.76% Native American and that would be totes cool," or words to that effect.

The cops chose to use a lab linked to a private collection of genetic genealogical data called the Sorenson Database (now owned by, which claims it’s “the foremost collection of genetic genealogy data in the world.” The reason the Sorenson Database can make such an audacious claim is because it has obtained its more than 100,000 DNA samples and documented multi-generational family histories from “volunteers in more than 100 countries around the world.” Some of these volunteers were encouraged by the Mormon Churchwell-known for its interest in genealogy—to provide their genetic material to the database. Sorenson promised volunteers their genetic data would only be used for “genealogical services, including the determination of family migration patterns and geographic origins” and would not be shared outside Sorenson.

They called up Usry, told him they were investigating a hit-and-run, and asked him to meet with them. Usry thought he “had nothing to hide” and agreed to the meeting. They took him to an interrogation room, questioned him without a lawyer present, and eventually collected a DNA sample. Then Usry sat on pins & needles for a month waiting for the results.
When the results came in, it turned out Usry’s DNA didn’t match the crime scene sample—despite the close familial markers and other circumstantial evidence, he wasn’t the murderer.

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