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LGC Forensics provides key evidence in Jo Yeates investigation

14 Nov 2011

LGC Forensics' analysis provides key evidence in Joanna Yeates investigation

LGC Forensics, the UK's largest independent provider of forensic services, successfully used a range of advanced forensic techniques, including LGC’s proprietary DNA enhancement method, DNASenCE, to link Vincent Tabak to the 2010 murder of Joanna Yeates.

Joanna disappeared after walking to her home in Bristol on 17 December 2010 and her body was finally found on Christmas Day in a country lane a few miles from her home. Working closely with Avon & Somerset Police, LGC Forensics was instrumental in obtaining a DNA profile from evidence found at the crime scene and in linking this with a range of supporting forensic evidence, including from Tabak’s car. The crucial evidence was provided by the work to refine the DNA procedures in order to enhance the DNA samples – which were inhibited, possibly by the unusually high levels of salt at the location of the body, because of a recent snow fall.  

Teamwork played a vital role in this case and LGC Forensics set up an internal focus group of forensic scientists who carried out the technical DNA examinations, as well as interpretation, peer review, and quality review. The group analysed a number of items taken from Joanna’s flat and submitted by Police for analysis as well as further evidence from the area where Joanna’s body was found. The scientists used a combination of analytical tools including exacting DNA enhancement work and fibre analysis, and consideration was also given for recovery of hair, ecology and biological samples.  

Steve Allen, Managing Director of LGC Forensics, said: “The successful use of painstaking forensic analysis in this case is a positive result for the Yeates family and for Avon & Somerset Police. We always welcome the opportunity to contribute our skills and expertise to important investigations such as this one, and we are pleased that the very detailed and thorough work of our forensic scientists helped bring resolution to this case.”