Many County buildings are currently closed to the public. Please visit our Online services page for resources and building information.

You are here: Home > Forensic Laboratory > Forensic DNA

Forensic DNA

Welcome to the Forensic DNA Department at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office!  

Forensic DNA PhotoThe Forensic DNA Department consists of two sections:  Casework and CODIS.   


The Casework Section performs scientific analysis of biological samples recovered from crime scenes. DNA collection and analysis gives the criminal justice field a powerful tool for convicting the guilty and exonerating the innocent.  

DNA analysis is a powerful tool because each person's DNA is unique (with the exception of identical twins). Therefore, DNA evidence collected from a crime scene can implicate or eliminate a suspect, similar to the use of fingerprints  


The Combined DNA Index System, CODIS, blends computer and DNA technologies into an effective tool for fighting violent crime. The current version of CODIS uses two indexes to generate investigative leads in crimes where biological evidence is recovered from the crime scene. The Convicted Offender index contains DNA profiles of individuals convicted of felony sex offenses (and other violent crimes). The Forensic index contains DNA profiles developed from crime scene evidence. CODIS utilizes computer software to automatically search these indexes for matching DNA profiles.  


The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office Forensic laboratories are accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and FBI DNA Advisory Board. These accreditations verify the reliability of our equipment, the qualifications of our laboratory staff, and the soundness of our testing methods and standard operating procedures.

DNA Methodologies