Our Team

Laboratory Director

Daniel holds an M.S. in Forensic Science and is a 16+ 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 direction and oversees the quality system of the Intermountain Forensics laboratory.   

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Daniel Hellwig

Director of Forensic Genetic Genealogy

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD is widely recognized as the founder of modern Forensic Genealogy.  She has pioneered the use of genetic genealogy Y-STR and autosomal SNP analysis for generating forensic intelligence on cold cases sometimes decades old. Dr. Fitzpatrick is the founder of Identifinders International and Co-Founder of the DNA Doe Project.  


Her  forensic genetic genealogy casework includes the1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders, the first case solved using genetic genealogy (2015), and in 2020 out of 50 entries from 20 countries for her work on the 1991 Sarah Yarborough Homicide, the first case where genetic genealogy was used to generate investigative leads (2011).  She has also been the Forensic Genealogist on several historical projects including the Identification of the Unknown Child on the Titanic and the Abraham Lincoln DNA Project. She is a member of the Vidocq Society and the only Forensic Genealogist who is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS).

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Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick

Derek brings 8+ 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.

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Senior DNA Analyst

Derek Cutler

Alyssa McElreath

Alyssa has over 14 years of experience in the field of forensics and investigations. She began working in the courts which soon led to working for law enforcement as a certified crime scene investigator. She received the Department Distinguished Service Medal twice for her contributions on multiple major cases. She developed a passion for DNA and its place in solving crimes. Alyssa has expanded her expertise in roles as a Forensic  Serologist, case consultant and private business owner.

Alyssa brings her case knowledge and extensive experience to assist in case consultation and wet lab case processing.

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Forensic Molecular Biologist

Elena Rojas

Forensic Molecular Biologist

Elena has over 5 years of forensic experience. Previously she worked as a Paralegal for 8+ years. Elena 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.

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Francine Bardole

Forensic Cold Case Consultant

Francine brings twenty-five-plus years in the field of Criminal Justice to the Intermountain Forensics team. She has invested the past fifteen years becoming an expert in her field of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensics, educating students and investigators, helping solve cold cases,  discovering and implementing a superior tool for collecting DNA and
giving a voice to silent victims. 
Francine has graciously offered to volunteer her time to the IMF team.   She will act as a our primary cold case investigator and will initiate, coordinate and apply her expertise in case consultations with our Law Enforcement partners to understand the status of the cold case investigation and what the IMF lab can do to help.

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Emily Harris

Executive Director

Emily brings almost 25 years of nonprofit experience to Intermountain Forensics. She has an MBA, a Masters in Health Administration, and a Masters in Education. She has an extensive background in grant writing, fundraising, and management. Emily has worked previously for the American Heart Association, Valley Behavioral Health, and other nonprofits throughout her career. We are very pleased and honored to have her leading our team and working with our CEO to continue to make DNA testing affordable, available and to help bring closure to victims and their families.

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