On the morning of June 27, 2000, Molly Bish went to work as a lifeguard at Comins Pond in Warren, MA just like any other day. This was the last time anyone would see Bish until 3 years later she was found murdered in a remote area of Palmer, MA. Almost 13 years later, on April 14, 2013, it was announced that pieces of untested evidence in the investigation have been sent out of state to a lab in Dallas, Texas for DNA testing.
Some may ask why do they do it? Why do they outsource if they have public labs in the state?
According to a 2010 study titled ‘It’s More Complex than You Think: A Chief’s Guide to DNA,’ several advantages factor into the use of private labs to perform DNA analysis.
Private Labs are a Business: Private labs are constantly competing with each other to provide the best service to their clients. Because of this, private labs tend to be more responsive while meeting expectations.
Latest Technologies: Because these labs have a business incentive it helps them stay up to date on the latest technologies. In some cases private lab equipment can be much more advanced than public lab equipment.
Speed: Analysts from private labs may not have the case volume that a public lab would, which opens the door for more attention from analysts. Most labs offer pricing structures that allow for expedited requests. Because of this, high profile cases may be turned around if the agency can cough up the coin.
Communication: Because private labs are—how do you say—private, they can limit communication between the scientists and authorities. As a result of the opportunity for “hindering” is reduced. Simply put, in a private lab, communication is streamlined with the scientist that frees them up for more analysis. The analysis process is enhanced by infrequent and formal communication between the authorities and scientists.
Accreditation and Auditing: Because the accrediting body certifies private labs, they are subject to frequent audits. This ensures that they maintain their highest standards at all times. Forensic testing labs such as DNA Diagnostics Center have the ASCLD/LAB-International certificate. ASCLD/LAB stands for The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board.
There is no doubt that there are some major plusses all around for outsourcing DNA analysis to private labs. However in the case of Molly Bish, authorities have withheld comments on reasons and contents of the DNA outsource. If you are interested in learning more about DNA testing, analysis and the comprehensive services that our laboratory provide, check us out at DNA Diagnostics Center.