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  1. #1
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    Forensic Science Service Results - HELP WANTED

    I should be grateful if anyone could please look over this point from our proposed booklet: "What happened to Madeleine McCann: 30 Reasons which suggest she was not abducted". Is what we say (a) correct and (b) reasonably comprehensible?

    It deals with the forensic findings of the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham.

    Or if anyone could please piont me to a good source where their findings are discussed, I'd be grateful also:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++

    30 Reasons

    Reason (x). The forensic evidence of the DNA of blood found in the living room of the McCanns’ apartment, and in the boot of the McCanns' hired car, analysed by the Forensic Science Service here in England

    ANSWER:

    There have been claims and counter-claims about the significance of the forensic evidence obtained by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in Birmingham on samples of blood or body fluids found in the McCanns’ apartment and in the boot of the car they hired. The Doctors McCann and their spokesmen have claimed that the FSS results did not confirm that it was Madeleine’s dead body in the apartment and in the car.

    So let us look carefully at what the FSS found.

    In Apartment 5A, Eddie, the 'cadaver dog' and Keela, the 'blood-hound’ both clearly marked precisely the same location - behind the sofa in the living room (which had been moved by the McCanns from its original location). The tiles where Keela scented the blood were carefully removed and sent to FSS. The blood found by Keela was by then degraded, quite possibly s the result of cleaning agents having been used, and the FSS lab was able to check only 5 markers. Each one of those 5 markers exactly matched Madeleine's DNA.

    As for the Renault Scenic, registration no. 59-DA-27, Eddie, the 'cadaver dog' and Keela, the 'blood-hound’, both clearly marked the same car and the same location within the car. The blood found there by Keela (beneath the carpeting in the boot) was also degraded. But the FSS lab was able, on its first analysis, to check 15 markers. All of these 15 markers matched Madeleine's DNA.

    A second result showed the same 15 markers, but among a total of 37. An individual only has 19 ‘markers’. That means that the sample from the car had been contaminated by DNA from another individual. However, with 15 markers all matching Madeleine’s DNA, that would still give analysts 99.9% confidence that the samples were from Madeleine.

    The DNA of the degraded blood was found not to match with the DNA of the twins, Sean and Amelie.

    The law differs from country to country as to how many out of an individual’s 19 DNA ‘markers’ are needed to prove that any DNA sample comes from that individual. Many countries accept 15 markers as sufficient proof. Under Portuguese law, however, the courts require all 19 markers to be confirmed.

    This was ‘Low Copy Number’ DNA and so all 19 markers could not be obtained.

    The FSS were able to confirm that the results of the analysis were ‘indicative’ that the blood found was Madeleine’s. We might, without exaggeration, that these DNA results were ‘highly indicative’ that it was Madeleine’s blood that was found. But the FSS felt unable to say that these DNA results, on their own, were ‘conclusive’.

    The key point to be made is this. The FSS results, on their own, do not provide absolute proof that the blood in the apartment and in the hired car was Madeleine’s. But the strongly indicative results, with all 5 markers being Madeleine’s in one sample and all 15 in another, must be taken together with all the other evidence in this case. And we can say without fear of successful contradiction that it is another piece of evidence in the case that points very strongly in the direction of Madeleine being dead in her holiday apartment on 3rd May 2007, the day she ‘disappeared’.

    ENDS

  2. #2
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    I agree it points very strongly towards a deceased Maddie. I don't know much about all these tests, but I am very curious why the FSS changed their minds about the DNA samples. They led PLE to believe they had strong samples, PLE makes the McCanns suspects and the the FSs backs off their original position. What happened?

    Salem

  3. #3
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    Depleted cells?

    Salem, thank you.

    One explanation I have heard is that in extracting DNA from the samples during the first round of testing, the cells became depleted or weakened in some way (i.e. due to the extracting of material for testing) and that therefore the second sample would not yield such conclusive results.

    Not being technical on these matters, I am not sure if that is correct or not

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  4. #4
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    Forget about the blood.....what about the hair??

    I read numerous times that hair can be tested to show if it came from a deceased person. What happened to the hair that was sent to the FSS? I read somewhere that the FSS did not have the capability to do the test. Does this make sense? I seriously doubt that one of the finest forensics labs in the world would not have this test.

    We need to find out what happened to the hair!!

  5. #5
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    Cadaverine, blood...and hair

    Quote Originally Posted by colomom View Post
    Forget about the blood.....what about the hair?? I read numerous times that hair can be tested to show if it came from a deceased person. What happened to the hair that was sent to the FSS?...
    We need to find out what happened to the hair!!
    REPLY: Yes. I have scoured the published police reports, colomom, but I cannot so far find any reference to the hair said to have been found in the car boot

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  6. #6
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    I think that is an excellent summary. However I would question this statement :

    "Each one of those 5 markers exactly matched Madeleine's DNA."

    I'm not sure whether you can have an 'exact' match form 5 markers - I think the point is that there were no markers that could not have come from Madeleine so the idea that it was her blood could not be discounted - but that 5 markers does not give positive identification either.

  7. #7
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    I agree that it is an excellent summary Tony.

    Colomon, I believe that I read somewhere that the hair samples were lost. I am so sorry I cannot think where I read this or I would provide link.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by colomom View Post
    I read numerous times that hair can be tested to show if it came from a deceased person. What happened to the hair that was sent to the FSS? I read somewhere that the FSS did not have the capability to do the test. Does this make sense? I seriously doubt that one of the finest forensics labs in the world would not have this test.
    The Caylee Anthony Case is interesting in that respect:

    http://www.wftv.com/news/17315205/detail.html
    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Orange County detectives were expected to meet with the State Attorney's office to discuss new evidence in the Caylee Anthony case. A source close to the investigation confirmed for Eyewitness News, that FBI test results show hair and a stain in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car belong to her daughter, 3-year-old Caylee Anthony. Eyewitness News was also told the evidence found proves that she is dead.

    The State Attorney's Office also confirmed on Wednesday that Casey Anthony was invited to their office to shed light on the disappearance of Caylee. The State Attorney's Office is not revealing details about the offer of limited immunity. Eyewitness News has learned there is a time limit on that offer, however.

    Eyewitness news spoke to a forensic expert to find out how investigators are able to use DNA to determine that a dead body was in Casey's trunk.

    "Just putting the hair under the microscope one can tell the difference between a normal hair root and one that's been infected with bacteria after death." stated forensic expert Michael Baden.
    So it seems if the hair contains the root, it can be determined whether it is from a a living or a deceased person.

  9. #9
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    I remember we went through the discussion about the hair sample a month or so ago but I can't remember who gave us the links--I thought it was Tony B. but I could be wrong.

    The FSS reportedly did not have the capacity to test for whether or not the hair was from living or deceased person. They refused to release the sample to another European lab that could test, as requested by the Portuguese authorities. They basically shut down on making any conclusions about the sample stating only the number of matching markers and that a definitive identification as Madeleine's could not be made.

    However, they did NOT say that Madeleine was ruled out.

    I thought of this immediately when the news about Caylee Anthony surfaced.

  10. #10
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    That's what I remember too Tex.

    Rashomon, do you think it is because there was no root attached to the Scenic hair sample? I seem to recall this being reported too.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by colomom View Post
    That's what I remember too Tex.

    Rashomon, do you think it is because there was no root attached to the Scenic hair sample? I seem to recall this being reported too.
    That could possibly be it...but the FSS also stalled in a very obvious way. They didn't announce that they couldn't rule out Madeleine and said only that they couldn't positively (99% match) identify the evidence as Madeleine's.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texana View Post
    I remember we went through the discussion about the hair sample a month or so ago but I can't remember who gave us the links--I thought it was Tony B. but I could be wrong.

    The FSS reportedly did not have the capacity to test for whether or not the hair was from living or deceased person. They refused to release the sample to another European lab that could test, as requested by the Portuguese authorities. They basically shut down on making any conclusions about the sample stating only the number of matching markers and that a definitive identification as Madeleine's could not be made.

    However, they did NOT say that Madeleine was ruled out.

    I thought of this immediately when the news about Caylee Anthony surfaced.
    From what I've learned through the Caylee case, the root is tested to determine whether the hair is from a dead or living person. In decomposition, black rings begin to form around the shaft of the hair at root level. So if the lab didn't have any roots for Madeleine's hair sample, it would be impossible to determine death.

  13. #13
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    But Cali, even if the lab could not confirm decomposition couldn't they test for sedatives? I remember reading that the hair tested positive as belonging to someone from Kate's lineage.

    There are so many tests that can be done and yet we do not hear word one about the results of the tests on the hair.

    There should be some report with some sort of results.....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by colomom View Post
    That's what I remember too Tex.

    Rashomon, do you think it is because there was no root attached to the Scenic hair sample? I seem to recall this being reported too.
    Possibly this was the case - that there was no root attached.

    If they had found out the hair was form a dead Madeleine, the McCanns' story would have collapsed like a house of cards.

    How many hairs were found in the trunk? One or more?
    And where excactly was the hair (or were the hairs) found? Under the carpeting of the boot?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texana View Post
    That could possibly be it...but the FSS also stalled in a very obvious way. They didn't announce that they couldn't rule out Madeleine and said only that they couldn't positively (99% match) identify the evidence as Madeleine's.
    So there is the high probability that hair was Madeleine's.
    I only know little about DNA, (therefore correct me if I'm wrong) but I think if they had had the root they could have done nuclear DNA testing which would yield more info.
    So it seems they only did mitochondrial (?) DNA tests on the hair.
    Have the other family members been ruled out?

    Did the sniffer dog Eddie find cadaver odor in the trunk also?

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