Woman in ten-year coma gives birth at care facility, police seeking DNA of workers

I’m not sure I agree that a warrant to test the DNA of the workers there amounts to a “fishing expedition.” A crime most definitely occurred, and it’s entirely reasonable to suspect that one of the men who had regular access to her committed the crime.Assuming they are only testing men who were there nine months before the birth, it doesn’t seem to be casting a terribly wide net, does it?

The issue of what the state can and should be allow to do with stored DNA samples after the fact is another issue, of course.


To be fair, she might not have been menstruating regularly in the first place. Plenty of women who have some sort of stress on their health tend to not have a regular cycle, all sorts of shit can knock it out of whack, so I can imagine being a coma for 10 years might mean no regular cycle.


My guess is that the police/district attorney knows that their DNA warrants are illegal, but this is Arizona, so they’re making (a few) employees get legal representation while the rest comply with the warrants.

This narrows it down to a manageable few whom the police can then surveil and then obtain their DNA from discarded cigarette butts, soda cans, or household trash.

For those innocent employees who simply don’t wanting their DNA info in a police computer forever, I wonder if you could submit your DNA to a lab and then have the lab do the comparison.

1 Like

Then you would imagine wrong. I imagine most, if not all, privacy advocates would refuse, then I imagine most people like you would assume they’re guilty without any proof.

Isn’t imagining fun?


The GOP does have some pretty creative takes on the meaning of consent, so this issue may not have much of an impact on voters.

That really won’t help at all. If it’s a baby boy, Y-DNA haplogroup testing could help narrow down the suspect pool, but you’d have to test the men for that too, so might as well just do an autosomal DNA test right from the get-go.


See above post about the ACLU policy guy who outlined a way one could provide DNA for exculpatory purposes while entering a legal contract with law enforcement to destroy the information afterward.

If there was only one guy who both A) had access to the patient and B) refused to share a DNA sample then yeah, I’d probably expect law enforcement to start looking at him pretty closely as a suspect.


The unfortunate catalyst maybe…


1 Like

Not really. One of the female employees could have granted or facilitated access to a male relative or friend. If we’re going to go crazy with blanket DNA screening, then they might as well test the female employees to see if they’re a familial match to the baby. Especially since a lot of comments on this story seem to be of the opinion that “plausible cause” = “probable cause” for taking DNA samples.

1 Like

So it’s a case of “if you didn’t do anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about”? I think a lot of victims of police malfeasance–be it false arrest or just outright murder–would disagree with you on that point. I wish them all speed in catching the person, but they should do real, probably hard police work and come up with probable cause and legitimate suspects, not just throw out blanket DNA tests.

1 Like

The cross contamination of DNA samples became an issue here in Australia after a rape victim was identified as the source of DNA on the clothing of a murdered child. If the owner of the DNA had not been obviously incapable of the crime, the outcome might have been quite different.

1 Like

Possible, but not very plausible.


I’ll settle for involuntary dick removal. Off with his little head!


it depends weather you want the parts of another part

Presumably the family has power of attorney. If they were told soon after the obvious evidence others have mentioned presented itself. If not, then I don’t see how this could have gone unnoticed without at least a few people actively covering it up.

I hope her rapist is caught and rots in prison for the rest of his miserable life. A man (I use the term loosely) like that is a danger to society and women in particular.

And I hope any one who worked to cover it up gets some jail time as well.




I would imagine they will get started on that as soon as it’s confirmed it wasn’t one of the current employees.

If this had happened in Indiana he may well have been in the clear!


I’m not thinking of the men so much as I’m thinking about the civil rights issues of blanket DNA testing.

I have a female relative who worked as a nurse’s aid. She abused a patient in a state-run nursing home because, due to a very bad temper, she was very unsuited for this job. Her patient was able to identify her attacker, and my relative was punished. But it’s not hard to imagine a situation where an elderly patient with dementia is abused but can’t help the police with her case. Maybe a nurse’s aid gets accidentally cut by the patient, who doesn’t understand what’s going on, and so hits her with the nearest blunt object. The nurse is wearing gloves, so no finger prints, but leaves the weapon and her blood behind. It’s pretty clear what happened from the physical evidence, and the DNA is identified as belonging to the victim and another woman, but the attacker isn’t in the system. I would feel very uncomfortable with blanket DNA screening of all the female employees of the nursing home for the same reason I’m uncomfortable with it here. Too much room for police and state misbehavior. Both acts are reprehensible and should be dealt with by narrowing down the subject pool and getting a warrant for DNA based on probable cause.

You don’t think the suspects should be investigated using the tools available to clear them of suspicion?