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Our Team

Director of Laboratory Development

Daniel holds an M.S. in Forensic Science and is a 19+ year veteran of both Public and Private Crime Forensic DNA Laboratories.  He has served as a DNA analyst, technical leader and in executive management of Forensic DNA laboratories over that time.  He has provided training to hundreds of Forensic DNA labs and conferences on a variety of different topics. Armed with a black belt certification in Lean/Six Sigma process improvement and extensive experience in both quality and operational leadership, he provides executive oversight, develops and maintains laboratory partnerships, case consultation and directs the future development of the laboratory.

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Daniel Hellwig

Director of Laboratory Operations

Derek brings 10+ years of Forensic DNA experience to the Intermountain Forensics Laboratory.  He has a Lean/Six Sigma green belt and boasts an amazingly efficient and quality driven interpretation, analysis and review process that he has honed over the years.  This has allowed him to author over 3000 Forensic DNA laboratory reports and testify in cases over 40+ times all over the United States from Hawaii to Alaska and Georgia to Michigan.

Derek's approach to Forensic DNA Analysis and Review will be a staple of the laboratory, maximizing our quality and efficiency.  He provides executive management, continuous improvement to operational excellence for the laboratory and staff.

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Derek Cutler

Sara Walker

Forensic DNA Technical Leader

Sara has 15+ years of experience in both technical and leadership roles, where she has served as Quality Manager, DNA Technical Leader and Forensic Biology Manager. She oversaw compliance to ISO17025, ISO 17020 and the FBI Quality Assurance Standards with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

She holds certifications as a ANAB Technical Assessor, FBI Quality Assurance Standards Auditor, American Board of Criminalistics-Molecular Biology certification, Certified Forensic Manager (II) and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

As the Forensic DNA Technical Leader of Intermountain Forensics, Sara leads the executive management of the laboratory's quality management system and ensures our continued adherence to both ISO 17025 Accreditation and FBI Quality Assurance Standards.

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Kevin Lord

Director of Bioinformatics


Kevin has performed bioinformatics analysis of sequencing data for hundreds of samples for the purpose of investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) that has resulted in over 70 case "solves".   This includes many extremely challenging unidentified human remains cases,  providing usable genotype files leading to identifications of decedents from the as old as the 19th century. He has been involved with the field of investigative genetic genealogy since nearly the beginning, joining DNA Doe Project in 2018.

Through his various roles over the years, he has gained a deep understanding of all facets of IGG. In addition to performing bioinformatics, he has also acted as case manager for many dozens of cases through various lab pipelines and has performed genetic genealogy research that has led to many successful identifications.

He has been featured in media outlets such as Dateline, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Citizen PI, NewsNation Prime, and the Texas Observer.

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Elena Rojas

Laboratory Manager

Elena has over 6+ years of forensic experience and previously worked as a paralegal for 8 years. She has held positions as a Forensic Serologist, Forensic Evidence Technician, and Forensic Account Manager. Among other things, she has several certifications including, Collecting DNA at Crime Scenes, Crime Scene, and DNA for Forensic Analysts, Response and Understanding Death Investigations. Elena is also a licensed Private Investigator. Working at a forensics crime lab she developed a true passion for DNA and forensics.


Elena brings case knowledge and laboratory experience to assist in wetlab processing and case/sample management.

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