The M-Vac System is a wet-vacuum based forensic DNA collection device that is helping investigators solve more crime. It has been used on dozens of cases and has produced DNA profiles numerous
times when traditional methods such as
swabbing and cutting have failed to produce viable results. It is ideal for touch DNA scenarios, and can capture many times more DNA material than other
methods from porous surfaces like clothing or other fabrics as well as rough surfaces such as rock, brick
or concrete. Investigators who are using the M-Vac System are seeing impressive results and are
moving many cases forward
Krystal Beslanowitch - Homicide Cold Case
In 2013, the M-Vac System helped solve an 18 yr old cold case homicide by collecting touch DNA from a rock. The victim, 17 yr old Krystal Beslanowitch, was found lying face down next to a river in rural Utah. A bloody rock that was obviously used to bludgeon her to death was next to her. The Wasatch County Sheriff investigators had little else to go by.
Over the next two decades investigators pursued every angle possible, but any lead to the alleged killer went cold. At the time, despite the suspicion that the killer likely deposited epithelial cells on the bare side of the rock, the technology available could not produce a DNA profile.
Even when forensic lab processes reached the level of sensitivity where it became feasible, using traditional methods investigators could not collect enough DNA material to generate a viable profile. Then they were introduced to a wet-vacuum based method called the M-Vac. They decided to try the new method and it turned everything around. In September of 2013, the alleged killer was arrested. The DNA material found on the rock tied the suspect to the crime. The evidence was always there, but the technology to collect it had to be developed and utilized for the case to move forward. The suspect now awaits trial.