Forensic Biology FAQ CODIS DNA Database
Criminalists in the Biology section conduct examinations to locate and identify blood, semen, saliva and other body fluids on items of physical evidence. DNA testing is then performed to determine possible sources of the body fluids identified. To do this, the DNA types obtained from the evidence samples are compared to the DNA types obtained from victim and/or suspect reference samples to determine if the DNA types are the same. DNA profiles from evidence samples are also entered into the state and national DNA databases for comparison to offender DNA profiles and DNA profiles from other evidence samples.
SDFL Biology Family Reference Collection Form
*This consent form is required for all donors of kindred family member(s) of missing persons. It must accompany the donor's buccal sample with a Request of Examination.
(Combined DNA Index System)
CODIS is an electronic database of DNA profiles that is maintained by the FBI. This DNA database is comprised of the following categories of DNA records:
- Convicted Offenders - DNA profiles of persons convicted and/or arrested of crimes
- Forensic - DNA profiles from samples recovered from crime scenes
- Unidentified Human Remains - DNA profiles from samples recovered from unidentified human remains
- Relatives of Missing Persons - DNA profiles from samples voluntarily contributed from relatives of missing persons.
Every state in the nation participates in the National DNA Index System (NDIS). Each state's collection law differs as to arrestees/convicted and the qualifying offenses. Offender DNA profiles are entered into the DNA database. Just as fingerprints found at a crime scene can be run through AFIS in search of a suspect or link to another crime scene, DNA profiles from a crime scene can be entered into CODIS. Therefore, law enforcement officers have the ability to identify suspects when no prior suspect exists.
The forensic lab provides the Department of Corrections, regional jails, and law enforcement with directions and materials used in collecting biological samples, cheek (buccal) swabs, from felony adult arrestees and adjudicated juveniles who have committed qualifying offenses that will be tested for DNA and incorporated in the convicted offender DNA database CODIS.
The forensic lab provides the Department of Corrections, regional jails, and law enforcement with directions and materials used in collecting biological samples, cheek (buccal) swabs, from convicted violent offenders that will be tested for DNA and incorporated in the convicted offender DNA database CODIS.
To date there are more than 20,000 individuals' DNA that have been entered into the South Dakota's DNA database. This DNA database is an investigative tool for South Dakota law enforcement. To date, over 40 criminal investigators have been aided by database hits.
Forensic DNA Testing
Quality Assurance standards for forensic DNA testing laboratories were established by the DNA Advisory Board and implemented in 1998 and 1999. These standards describe the quality assurance requirements to ensure the quality and integrity of the data and competency of the laboratory.
The DNA services of the Forensic Lab have been audited by the Forensic Quality Services, Inc. and found to be in compliance with the quality assurance standards for forensic DNA testing Labs.
Local, County and State Law Enforcement have the opportunity to submit criminal case investigation biological evidence for DNA testing by the SD State Forensic Lab. Results obtained by the SD State Forensic Lab will be used by Law Enforcement for investigative information and by SD Judicial Systems to assist resolving criminal matters. DNA databasing of South Dakota’s offender samples is being accomplished according to SDCL 23-5A-1 and the FBI’s CODIS/NDIS protocols.