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Old 06-11-2019, 09:04 AM
Lightnin' is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Apple Core
Posts: 7,462

Why would a forensic DNA test take so long?

On TV and the movies, DNA tests are damn near instantaneous- at most, a few days. A bit of research shows that, in reality, two to four weeks is standard, with some results within days.

The reason I ask is because of this story, about Susan and Jerry McFalls. Basically, the two of them disappeared from their rural house in southern Utah- their house was left open, with food still on the table, and with no signs of violence or foul play. I've been following this from the beginning- my friend is the couple's niece.

Several months later, with almost no leads at all in the case, two bodies were found in a ditch not too far away. Susan's body was identified almost immediately thanks to a registered hip implant. The other body, though, has not yet been identified... and it's been almost 240 days at this point. The investigators haven't released anything about the cause of death, and have no real timeline on when they expect to be able to identify the second body and give the family some closure, if not answers.

I can imagine the bodies were in pretty poor shape after being out in the desert that long, but surely some DNA would be intact. I realize that, thanks to the movies, we expect DNA tests to be the silver bullet that closes cases, but this seems just... weird.
What's the good of Science if nobody gets hurt?


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