When an investigative genetic genealogy and private investigation team builds on its Law Enforcement and Legal DNA, Innovative Forensic Investigations (IFI) not only talks the talk but walks the walk with LE agencies in their pursuit of cold case resolution and justice. IFI hires two new team members with deep experience in law enforcement and forensic sciences.
Emporia, Va. (August 2022) – Innovative Forensic Investigations (IFI) was founded in 2019 by private investigator Jennifer Moore, who is an investigative genetic genealogist with experience dating back to 2014. Moore saw the need to use her background to assist Law Enforcement agencies across the country to understand how to utilize the newest tool in their forensic tool kit. IFI is a full-service investigative company collaborating with the agency from the very beginning of the case through the selection of the laboratory, DNA analysis, genetic genealogy, case reporting, and final court documentation.
With astronomical numbers of missing persons reaching over 600,000 every year (almost half are under the age of 21) and with rising unresolved homicides hitting close to 285,000 in the US, Law Enforcement Investigative Units’ requirements for staffing, technology, and public support are near crisis. With the advent of forensic DNA analysis becoming the new touchstone since the identification of the Golden State Killer, Law Enforcement is increasingly looking to utilize these new forensic investigation tools to bring identification of unidentified decedents, victims of homicide and rape, and close long-overdue cold case files. Unfortunately, as with any new technology or science, individuals and companies short on credentials and experience can impede, and even discredit the new field with unproven techniques, poor customer service, and a total lack of communication between firms and agencies.
The team at IFI, with proficient backgrounds in Law Enforcement, legal, and court presentation, were early adaptors to the latest genetic genealogy investigative technologies, helping agencies with little to no experience in the new field to offer beginning-to-end collaboration. Collectively, the IFI team has solved thousands of cold cases, missing persons, and unknown parentage cases through investigative genetic genealogy.
“The thing that sticks out to me, and separates Innovative Forensic Investigations from others, is the commitment to victims. They are always willing to go the extra mile, take on difficult cases, and commit to working on them until a resolution is reached. IFI doesn’t do this work for fame or fortune, often working pro bono to ensure that all eligible cases, meeting investigative forensic genetic genealogy criteria, have the opportunity to be solved using this amazing process,” Ryan Backman, Founder and Executive Director of Project: Cold Case, as well as Family & Victim Advocate for IFI, commented.
With the knowledge and skill set of how investigative divisions within Law Enforcement agencies function, the IFI team can provide explicit information on evidence submission for the agency, and as the agency’s liaison through the analysis process, IFI spearheads the process to keep communication open and move the process in a timely manner. The entire process that IFI facilitates accentuates their deep knowledge of the court systems and tremendous care is taken to make sure all evidence, processes, and results are court ready. Members of the IFI team have also provided expert testimony in court proceedings.
“Law Enforcement agencies now have a lot of choices when it comes to partnering with investigative genetic genealogists,” Moore explained. “But trust is not something you can market. Trust is earned, and within the Law Enforcement community, we not only have worn the blue, worked with and for them, but we have also proven ourselves in case after case. That trust is so implicit, that we have agencies work a trial case, and are so pleased with the collaboration, they return to us again and again.”
IFI continues to grow, adding new team members with the background essential to providing Law Enforcement agencies with efficient and effective management of all investigations.
Thomas C. McAndrew, IFI’s new Director of Law Enforcement Relations, is a former Homicide Detective with the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office and retired Pennsylvania State Police officer with over 26 years of service in which he was a 20-year member of the Criminal Investigations Assessment (CIA) Unit specializing in behavioral analysis of violent crimes and crime scenes and designed to supervise and investigate active and cold case homicides and missing persons investigations. McAndrew served on a National Institute of Justice Cold Case Working Group comprised of 35 subject matter experts who developed a national publication in 2019 outlining the national best practices for implementing and sustaining a cold case investigation unit. Besides his new position on the IFI team, McAndrew is President of the Pennsylvania Homicide Investigators Association, a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and other prestigious associations related to homicide investigations.
“I am honored to have joined the team that Jennifer Moore has assembled at Innovative Forensic Investigations. Throughout my law enforcement career, I was fortunate to work for agencies that held honor, integrity, and skillful determination as core principles, and IFI is the same. Their efforts are rooted in simply doing what is right while pursuing justice for victims and their families. They recognize the hurdles that law enforcement faces in dealing with cold cases, and remain completely accessible to investigators throughout the entire process. They are willing to help investigators decide what is best for their case, and their team members remain focused on bringing an investigation to a successful resolution with a ‘never give’ up attitude. I look forward to helping them continue their success with the most difficult of cases,” McAndrew commented.
Another new member to the IFI team comes with exceptional experience as a Senior DNA Forensic Scientist and National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) administrator and NamUS Coordinator for the National Forensic Science Technology Center, as well as a DNA Laboratory Assessor for Forensic Quality Services, and as a DNA Analyst for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Carrie Sutherland is Innovative Forensic Investigations’ new Director of Client & Case Relations.
“This is an exciting time at Innovative Forensic Investigations, and I am thrilled to be a part of the growing team,” Sutherland explained. “I know that the team’s expertise and dedication will successfully support law enforcement in their mission to bring justice to the victims and families of many unresolved cases. I have dedicated over 20 years to serving the criminal justice system and I look forward to continuing to dedicate myself to helping combat ‘This Nation’s Silent Mass Disaster’ and the ‘Cold Case Crisis.’ I am excited to grow with IFI and to play a role in their many upcoming successes.”
About Innovative Forensic Investigations:
Innovative Forensic Investigations is a full-service investigative genetic genealogy and private investigation firm providing services to agencies, working collaboratively through the entire lifecycle of the case, from submission to conclusion. Unique in the industry, Innovative Forensic Investigations combines years of expertise in law enforcement, forensics, legal, investigations, family & victim advocacy, and investigative genetic genealogy. The dynamic skill set of the team can generate new leads and fresh perspectives in your investigations.