M-Vac System collects touch DNA from a rope

M-Vac System collects touch DNA from a rope

The M-Vac System has been used again to help solve a difficult case, this time collecting DNA profiles from a rope used in an armed robbery and assault. Lauderhill Police Department, the agency with jurisdiction over the case, used DNA Labs International to do the M-Vac DNA collection after the swabbing method had failed to produce a profile.

Below is the case summary details. You can also click here for a copy of the PDF.


Case Synopsis: An employee of a check cashing store arrived at work in the morning to open the store. Once inside he was confronted by two males at gun point. The two males were wearing gloves and their faces were covered. The suspects instructed the employee to open the safe and they retrieved the money and then fled. Towards the rear of the store a rope was located hanging from the ceiling. Roof tiles had been removed and a hole had been cut through the roof. This location is where the suspects gained entry into the store. The suspects did not leave any evidence behind and no fingerprints were obtained due to the suspects wearing gloves.

Evidence Collected: The white rope that hung from the ceiling to the floor inside the store was collected. Crime Scene swabbed the rope for contact DNA. These swabs were sent to the local lab where no DNA profiles were obtained by their procedures. The entire rope was then sent to DNA Labs International to use the M-Vac System collection method for contact DNA.

Laboratory Processing: The entire length of the rope was processed with the M-Vac wet-vacuum collection system. The rope was coiled to provide for a wider surface for collection. The sterile surface rinse solution was sprayed down and collected from the course material. Then the liquid collected was filtered through a Nalgene Rapid-Flow Sterile Disposable Filter. Once the filter was dry it was cut out from the container and prepped for DNA extraction. A Chelex extraction method was utilized and quantified with the Quantifiler® Duo DNA Kit. It was then amplified with Life Technologies AmpFℓSTR® Identifiler® Plus PCR Kit and analyzed on a 3130xL Genetic Analyzer.

Results: The DNA profile obtained from this item indicates a mixture of at least four individuals contributing to a partial major male and minor DNA profile. The major DNA profile developed was sufficient for comparison purposes and CODIS entry. The current investigation is ongoing.