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Forensic Sleuth Solves Personal Mysteries


Aired 6/2/11

San Diego has only one private forensic laboratory dedicated to solving your private mysteries.

— “Forensic Science CG Laboratory” calls itself a “forensic sleuth”. Similar to the work of a private investigator—the lab aims to answer private inquiries through DNA and other testing.

For example, you can find out if a child is a blood relative, or the exact nature of what the dog dragged home, or if an employee or spouse uses drugs.

Mary Pierson is a forensic chemist and founded the San Diego based company in 1993. She explains that it’s legal in California to gather DNA information without permission.

“If the customer just wants to know for their own well being or piece of mind that a child is a relative, then they can do that. But the results can not be used in court,” said Pierson.

DNA testing has changed a lot in the last twenty years. Pierson say new technology makes it easier but not cheaper to find answers.

“Cheaper no—easier yes. The DNA methods we used in the 90s was very labor intensive. Now, everything is automated. We use smaller sample sizes, we use kits, and those kits are expensive,” Pierson said.

Depending on what tests are done, services start at about $180. DNA testing for blood relations typically starts at about $675.

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