From a dedicated law enforcement career to a surprising revelation of her ancestry, the journey of the woman behind Genetic Genealogy For Law Enforcement(TM) is nothing short of inspiring. An at-home DNA test not only unraveled the threads of her past but also charted an unanticipated course into a new sphere of business and purpose.
Nearly 25 years after hanging up her uniform and badge, she is back on the case-solving frontier, albeit with a distinct approach. Armed with genetic genealogy – something she knew nothing about until a few years back – she is transforming the investigative trajectory of the police force across the nation.
Her journey into the realm of genetic roots was set in motion by a revelation that shook her to the core. Having been a Burke all her life, the results of the DNA test destroyed her long-held identity. What began as a curiosity-driven exploration to find out more about her health and ancestry ended up turning her world upside down. Instead of having Irish roots, as she believed, she found herself being rooted in Chicago, a city she had no previous connection with – at least not until the DNA test proved otherwise.
In the quest to understand her newfound roots and adopt her true identity, she fervently set about learning everything about genetic genealogy. The more she discovered, the more she realized how valuable this tool could be in untangling previously unsolvable cases and giving closure to countless families still searching for their loved ones. It was a realization stemming from the thought that if she could find a father in a few hours, what might the police force achieve with this technology?
Regrettably, financial limitations often stand in the way of incorporating genetic genealogy into ordinary police operations. External companies charge a substantial fee of around $7,500 per case, making it unsustainable for numerous police departments scattered across the country. Just as one example, over 14,500 cases of unknown human remains cry out for attention across the United States, a vast number that cannot be adequately served within current cost parameters.
Turning the revelation of her unexpected Chicago roots into a mission in the pursuit of justice, she created Genetic Genealogy For Law Enforcement. Through this initiative, she aims to bridge the gap in resources and funding by ushering in affordable in-house genealogical solutions for police departments at every level – from local to federal. By providing training and creating mechanisms to implement this technology within the police agencies, she not only hopes to bring justice but also to give voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.
“It’s exciting that 25 years later, my work has come full circle. It’s immensely satisfying to not only get justice but also to speak for those who can’t,” she expresses with unmistakable conviction. The sentiment encapsulates her years of experience in law enforcement and her newfound passion for genetic genealogy as being seamlessly intertwined, each complimenting and reinforcing the other in an unprecedented way.
As we have seen, the journey of discovery into one’s roots can be surprising, enlightening and even life-changing. Transforming this personal journey into a force of change for the greater good – in this case, the pursuit of justice – is indeed a remarkable testament to the power that lies within understanding one’s genetic origins and harnessing its potential for society’s benefit.
Follow the transformative journey of Genetic Genealogy for Law Enforcement on social media. Find them on Twitter @BurkevonRiddern, Facebook @ForensicGeneticGenealogist, Instagram @dnageneticgenealogist, LinkedIn @ChristineBurke. Your support could make a difference and help solve ongoing cases using genetic genealogy. Visit the website at https://www.geneticgenealogyforlawenforcement.com/ to find out more about this revolutionary approach to law enforcement.