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Exploring likelihood ratios assigned for siblings of the true mixture contributor as an alternate contributor

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: Online Dated: February 2022
Date Published
February 2022

This study investigated support for siblings of the true contributor to a mixture (who are not present in the mixture themselves).


Relatives tend to have more DNA in common than unrelated people. The closer the biological relationship, the higher the chance of alleles being identical by descent between the individuals; therefore, when considering a mixed DNA profile, close relatives of the true contributor may not always be excluded as a possible contributor to a mixture due to allele sharing. In these situations, it might be more appropriate under the alternate proposition to consider that the DNA could have originated from a relative of the person of interest rather than an unrelated individual. The probabilistic genotyping software STRmix™ automatically provides LRs considering close biological relatives as alternate sources of the DNA. The current study interpreted the mixtures and assigned LRs using STRmix™ and investigated whether the resulting LRs could be used to indicate whether the true contributor could be a sibling of the POI. Most siblings will have one or more alleles that are not observed in the mixture profile. Support for siblings to have contributed can only occur when allelic dropout is a possibility at the loci where the siblings have alleles that are not observed in the profile. In these data, that was only observed in components with assigned template of 588 rfu or less. (Publisher Abstract)



Date Published: February 1, 2022