Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD is an internationally recognized forensic genealogist and pioneer in the development of forensic genetic genealogy for solving violent crime and unknown person cold cases.
Dr. Fitzpatrick has collaborated with the top organizations in the field, including the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, the US Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Office, the Australian Federal Police, and law enforcement agencies nationwide.
As a Co-Founder and former Co-Executive Director of the DNA Doe Project (2017-2020) she led the team that solved the first two cold cases using genetic genealogy autosomal SNP testing. The Joseph Newton Chandler III and Buckskin Girl cases were solved several weeks before the Golden State Killer was identified using similar methods bringing widespread media attention to the field.
• First to use forensic genetic genealogy to generate investigative leads on a cold case
– 1991 Sarah Yarborough Homicide
• First to use forensic genetic genealogy to solve a cold case
– 1992-1993 Phoenix Canal Murders
• Expert in the application of forensic genetic genealogy techniques to compromised DNA samples
• Developer of proprietary software to mine and analyze Y-STR genetic genealogy databases
• Experience with several hundred cold cases using forensic genetic genealogy
Dr. Fitzpatrick received her PhD in Nuclear Physics from Duke University. She worked for 25 years on the development of high resolution laser measurement techniques for NASA, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies. A multilingual world traveler, Dr. Fitzpatrick specializes in international cases and has researched in over 50 countries. She also lectures and teaches widely in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Colleen has appeared in hundreds of domestic and international newspapers and magazines, and on international radio and television programs. These include the New York Times, BBC World News Tonight, RTE Ireland Television’s Nationwide, The Melbourne Sun, Radio New Zealand, Japan’s Nippon TV, CNN, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, More Magazine, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Denver Post, The Seattle Times, and The Orange County Register.