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Colorado investigating former state employee over irregular DNA testing results

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Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – A former forensic scientist with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is under investigation after irregularities were discovered in DNA testing.

Yvonne “Missy” Woods, who worked in the CBI’s forensic services section for 29 years, is no longer a CBI employee and is the subject of an internal affairs and criminal investigation, according to a media release from the state agency.

The agency discovered inconsistencies while reviewing a sampling of cases as part of an internal review process. CBI is notifying all public safety partners as it reviews cases potentially impacted by the investigation.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting in CBI’s internal affairs investigation. CBI also is working to identify an investigative agency from outside Colorado to lead the criminal investigation.  

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The CBI stated Woods’ work is undergoing a “meticulous review” as part of the investigation. The organization’s forensic services section also is undergoing a thorough review of testing procedures and processes.

“These are extremely serious allegations, and I want to assure the public and our public safety partners that the CBI is committed to conducting a complete review of this matter to ensure the integrity of this critical function remains intact,” Stan Hilkey, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.

CBI provides forensic and investigative assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies. In addition to maintaining and operating forensic laboratories and DNA profiles, it maintains fingerprint records and oversees the statewide crime reporting program. The agency also maintains the Instant Criminal Background Check Unit, the state’s program for background checks on firearms.

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This year’s budget for the CBI’s laboratory and investigative services is $34.1 million with $23.5 million for personal services. The biometric identification and records unit’s budget is $11.6 million this year.

CBI’s forensic services laboratory is accredited by the International Organization for Standardization, an independent and non-governmental international organization devoted to quality and transparency standards. The American National Standards Institute’s National Accreditation Board also was contacted by CBI concerning the investigation.

After first receiving accreditation in 2004, CBI moved to the International Organization for Standardization’s accreditation in 2015. CBI’s forensic services completed an on-site review in April and received reaccreditation.