Honors Projects


Chloe HaasFollow


Investigative genetic genealogy is an investigative method used by law enforcement to solve crimes. It involves the uploading of DNA found at a crime scene to genealogy databases to narrow down the suspect pool. The research question for this study is: Is law enforcement’s use of investigative genetic genealogy ethical? I conducted ten interviews with individuals who had a background in the Criminal Justice field, the legal field, the forensics field, and the field of genealogy to see their opinions on this topic. A majority of the participants in this study stated that they believe that law enforcement should be allowed to access these databases. A majority were also in support of law enforcement utilizing these databases to solve violent crimes, crimes involving children, and missing persons cases. However, they were not in support of law enforcement utilizing these databases to solve nonviolent crimes. A few of the participants brought up concerns regarding hacking. They felt that additional government protections should be put into place to protect them against potentially having their data hacked. Future studies could look further into this topic to see if this affects potential usage of these genealogy databases.


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Colleen Boff

First Advisor Department

Honors Program

Second Advisor

Catherine Pape

Second Advisor Department

Criminal Justice

Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2024