Cincinnati, Ohio. February 6, 2009 — CBS show 48 Hours Mystery used the expert services of DNA Diagnostics Center – DDC to determine whether a bone sample belonged to a U.S. Marine, Earl Bourdeau, who was murdered and buried in the Philippines in 1987.
The murder mystery entitled “Conspiracy to Kill,” which aired January 30, 2009, centered on a woman named Sonia Rios, whose two husbands’ lives ended suddenly at the hands of unknown gunmen.
Families of both men had been unable to recover the remains, until the 48 Hours investigation revealed a possible burial place for Bourdeau. A DNA test was performed comparing the bone sample to Earl’s brother, Dennis Bourdeau, revealing a match. More than 45 years after he left to find adventure in the Philippines, Earl was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Davenport, Iowa.
Forensic expert Dr. Julie Heinig performed DNA testing on the bones. Mitochondrial DNA testing was eventually used to establish kinship between the brothers. This type of testing is often used on old samples such as bone, in which the chance of obtaining nuclear DNA (routinely used for DNA relationship tests such as paternity tests) is very low. Mitochondrial DNA, which is found in more abundant numbers than nuclear DNA, is more likely to produce a DNA profile that can then be analyzed.
“Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from the mother to the child, and brothers would therefore share the same mitochondrial DNA,” explains Dr. Heinig.
DNA Diagnostics Center performs premier paternity, forensic, and veterinary DNA testing services for clients in all U.S. states and around the world, as well as for dozens of media outlets. Laboratory scientists are at the forefront in developing DNA technologies such as mitochondrial DNA testing to establish biological relationships.
DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) is the world’s largest provider of private DNA tests. Since 1995, DDC has performed genetic tests for over 1 million clients around the world. DDC offers comprehensive DNA testing services in several specialty areas: family relationship testing, forensics, and veterinary DNA testing. As the leading force in the private DNA paternity testing industry, DDC was one of the first to adopt robotics technology in its laboratory processes for stringent and efficient handling of DNA samples. DDC’s unique Dual Process™ for family relationship testing ensures results of unmatched quality and reliability.
DDC’s quality DNA testing services are nationally and internationally recognized by a number of professional accrediting organizations such as ACLASS (for ISO/IEC-17025), the AABB, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors-Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB-International), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).