DNA is the basic unit of which differentiates one individual to the next. Short Tandem Repeats and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms are two locations of DNA that have been the most successful in DNA analysis. Unique DNA profiles can be created so that interpretations can be made about the individual who contributed to the DNA sample. Systems like STRmix are currently being employed to give unbiased assumptions about the DNA profiles. There are several different statistical approaches in assigning probabilities to DNA evidence, likelihood ratio and random match probability are two common approaches. After assumptions are made, comparisons can be made between DNA profiles to find related familial members due to similarities in DNA profiles. Maternal kinship can be considered based on the mitochondrial DNA while paternal kinship is based on the inheritance of the Y chromosome. The Golden State Killer was a famous case that opened the door of applying forensic genetics and consumer genealogy sites to investigations. The future of forensic genealogy is endless, but first policies must be put out in place to protect the privacy of individuals DNA


Forensic Science, Familial DNA, Forensic Genealogy, DNA Profiling, Kinship Analysis, Golden State Killer

Document Type


Year of Completion



Forensic Science and Chemistry


Keri Wyllie, MPA

Academic Department

Department of Chemistry and Mathematics