Published on: Friday, March 8, 2024

Colorado’s star DNA scientist intentionally manipulated evidence for years, calling into question all of the criminal cases she worked on in her nearly three-decade career, according to a preliminary investigation released by officials Friday (article available here).

Yvonne “Missy” Woods, a 29-year veteran of the agency’s crime lab, who helped solve some of the state’s most notorious crimes, abruptly left her post last November after the Colorado Bureau of Investigation discovered anomalies in her work and initiated a criminal probe. The agency released the findings which asserts that Woods, long one of the bureau’s most respected analysts, purposefully altered DNA testing results.

The report said her manipulation affected at least 652 cases she handled between 2008 and 2023. The total could end up being higher, as investigators are still reviewing Woods’s cases dating back to the beginning of her career in 1994.

State officials previously said they would need to retest and review a total of about 3,000 DNA samples handled by Woods.

Experts say the scandal could potentially be one of the largest in the history of forensic DNA testing