We are overjoyed to welcome Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick, the world renowned Genetic Genealogist and founder of modern forensic genealogy, to the IMF family as our new Director of Forensic Genetic Genealogy.
Fitzpatrick holds a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Duke University and worked for years as an independent contractor for NASA and the Department of Defense designing high resolution laser measurement techniques. She founded Identifinders International in 2012 to work with the U.S. Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Office on military identifications but has since developed her interests in using genetic genealogy in forensic investigations. Fitzpatrick has been recognized twice as a finalist in the international Gordon, Honeywell, Thomas Cold Case Hit of the Year competition, in 2018 for her work on the 1991 Sarah Yarborough homicide, the first case to use genetic genealogy to generate investigative leads, and in 2020, for solving the 1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders, the first case solved using genetic genealogy. She is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science and the Vidocq Society. Fitzpatrick is the author of three books: Forensic Genealogy (2005, revised 2013), DNA & Genealogy (2005), and The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone (2008). Her work has been featured extensively in both the domestic and international media.
“I look forward to working with IMF in developing new technologies that can benefit cold case work,” Fitzpatrick said. “I believe IMF’s non-profit approach is an excellent means of offering law enforcement access to high-end forensic investigative techniques at an affordable cost.”
It is truly an honor to work beside such an amazing colleague at the laboratory. We look forward to embracing, enhancing and implementing forensic genetic genealogy tools and investigations in our lab and cannot wait to start solving these cold cases with her assistance and direction.
A epic day for our laboratory!