A couple decades ago, a female victim was found with portions of her body covered in packaging tape. There were male suspects. Rolling time forward to within the last few years, the tape was tested using traditional methods without results. Age and blood were factors, and they still are. Plus the tape is old and brittle. It is a challenging scenario.
The sticky side of the tape is the primary focus in hopes that more cellular material containing suspect DNA may be there, however both sides were sampled as much as possible. The tape is sorted and the best portions are placed in a sterile Pyrex dish. It is sprayed with sterile buffer solution and allowed to sit a couple minutes in hopes of loosening the crusty sticky material. Both sides are sampled with the M-Vac and the collected buffer is filtered.
After filter extraction, and given the victim is female and the suspects male, they amplify using a Y-STR kit. It yields meaningful results: multiple contributors including a full major profile. With comparable results, the case is moving forward.
We are waiting on the agency until the full details on the case can be shared, but the bench tested ability of the M-Vac to collect DNA material from tape is substantiated by the results.
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