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Dec 13, 2019

No Familial Permission Necessary to Send Samples Outside for DNA Testing

Gian Cho

According to Cho, there is still an option available should the Young family intend to pursue an independent D.N.A. test elsewhere.  He pointed out as well that all samples are the property of the respective clients that the N.F.S.S. serves and those include the police department.


Gian Cho, Executive Director, National Forensics Science Service

“We have since started to outsource a good amount of our cases to the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority lab.  So that’s where we sent a second amount of the sample from that particular case that was recovered.  The results have not come back yet so I can’t speak to that, but again, it was an attempt to try to get a second opinion from an ISO accredited laboratory as to whether the remains were indeed that of Ms. Young, you know.  So we expect the official results to come in the mail.  The lab has released unofficial results, unofficial meaning it’s not the actual written and signed certificate and so that has been communicated as a preliminary information to the police and to the family as well, just so they don’t have to wait for the actual report to come in the mail.  Since it’s unofficial, I won’t be able to speak to what those are on-camera or on the air.  So we had made attempts to find a second opinion and still the original intent where we want to offer the family the ability to test on their own, their own third party lab, whichever they use.  If they don’t feel that the two laboratories that we have sent the samples to, maintaining of course all our chain of custody requirements, if they still are not satisfied with our result they have the option to send it out to whichever lab they so choose.  But I just want to make it clear that the NFSS, the forensic lab, that we, and we alone, in consultation with our partner agencies, the Belize Police Department, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, along with the Ministry of National Security, we decide where we send exhibits for police cases because they are police cases.  We don’t need to seek approval from any private citizen whether it’s the victim or the accused.  We decide because the forensic testing should be as objective as possible.  We shouldn’t choose a lab because there is an affiliation to any one side, victim or accused.”

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