Law enforcement officials were so skeptical that the company could determine race from DNA -- a then-unknown technique -- that they sent test samples taken from black, white and biracial police officers to the lab. When the results determined the race of each of the cops tested, the department was confident enough to send a DNA sample from a crime scene to the company.
"The DNA told us we were all wrong and should have been looking for a black suspect," Kelly of the Baton Rouge Police Department said. "That was a real turning point in the case. It turned the whole case 180 degrees and we ended up looking at Lee, a suspect early on in the case, all over again."
Shriver said his method looks at hundreds of different variables across the human genome. Many of the home ancestry kits that purport to tell people from where their ancestors come have been criticized for giving participants a small slice of their genetic history, focusing only on the mitochondrial passed on by female ancestors.
Shriver, however, looks at genes along the X and Y chromosomes "to look for markers throughout the genome" that indicate different traits.