May 4-5 8:00am EDT

Bode 2021 Virtual Forensic DNA Conference

If you have any questions about the Bode 2021 Annual Conference, please email


Bode's forensic conferences highlight impact, new technologies, and best practices from industry leaders to educate on forensic identification and law enforcement investigations. Our virtual event includes an environment that enables attendees and speakers to engage on a wide-range of topics and network to share ideas.

The theme of Bode 2021 Virtual Forensic DNA Conference is:
“Prevent Tomorrow’s Victim.”

DNA has a significant impact on improving public safety.  Demand for testing is increasing as we clear backlogs and test cases faster.  DNA technology is now more accessible than ever through technological advances in rapid DNA and forensic genealogy, and remains essential to criminal investigations.

Solving these cases is critical and offers answers to victims of crimes, but we also know that the more we can do, the better opportunity we have to prevent crime – and prevent tomorrow’s victims.



Please note that conference attendance is limited to public sector practitioners, invited guests and paying sponsors. Practitioners include individuals actively working in public forensic crime laboratories and individuals currently employed by a law enforcement agency.


Show Resources

  • Jayann Sepich
    Co-Founder, DNA Saves

      Jayann Sepich's daughter, Katie, was a twenty-two-year-old graduate student when she was brutally raped and murdered. As a result Jayann has made it her mission to advocate for the expansion of DNA evidence and databases in the United States, and internationally. Ms. Sepich has testified more than forty times before state legislative committees in the US, as well as twice before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. To date thirty-one US states have passed legislation to mandate arrestee DNA testing. As a result of her advocacy, the United States Congress passed “The Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act” in 2012 to help fund DNA databases.

      The Sepich family established DNA Saves, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating policy makers and the public about the power of DNA databases and evidence. DNA Saves has submitted amicus briefs in four US court cases, including Maryland v King, which was heard by the United States Supreme Court, upholding the constitutionality of arrestee DNA databases.

      Ms. Sepich passionately believes that through the power of DNA crimes will be solved sooner, crimes will be prevented, lives will be saved and families will be spared the pain of burying a much loved child.

    • Frederick Harran
      Director, Bensalem Township Police Department

        Director Harran, originally from New York, moved to Pennsylvania in 1982, where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science. He earned his Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from St. Joseph's University. He is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

        Director Harran has served in law enforcement with the Bensalem Township Police Department in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for 33 years. Currently he serves as the Director of Public Safety for Bensalem Township.

        He currently serves on many law enforcement and community boards and organizations, including; Chairman of the Bucks County Chiefs of Police Association Executive Board, Executive Board of the Delaware Valley Crime Commission, IACP Forensic Science Committee, the Bucks County Domestic Violence Coalition and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission.. He served on the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Committee. He has recently been appointed by the FBI to the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Biology DNA Interpretation and Reporting Committee Rapid DNA Task Group. He has been elected to the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Executive Board representing Southeastern Pennsylvania and to State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) representing Pennsylvania and serves as Chairman of the North Atlantic Region of the United States . He serves as Vice President of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police.

        Director Harran is a published author of multiple articles including Property Crime and DNA Databases which have been featured in National Police Magazines. He was instrumental in implementing the first countywide local DNA database in the United States. He has also written and received grants in excess of 15 million dollars.

      • Ryan Gallagher
        Criminalistics Unit Manager, Office of Forensic Science - Philadelphia Police Department

          Ryan Gallagher is the Criminalistics Unit Manager at the Philadelphia Police Department's Office of Forensic Science, where he is responsible for the daily operations of the laboratory that processes all of the DNA cases for the City of Philadelphia. He earned a bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology from Temple University and a master's degree in Forensic Science from Arcadia University. He began his career in forensics with the Philadelphia Police Department in 2006. For more than ten years, he worked in the Criminalistics Unit processing hundreds of cases that involved the identification of biological fluids and/or ignitable liquids. For the past five years, Mr. Gallagher has overseen the operations of the Criminalistics Unit.

        • Patricia Melton, PhD
          Senior Research Forensic Scientist

            Dr. Patricia Melton is nationally recognized for her work in sexual assault response reform and forensic DNA analysis. As a senior research forensic scientist in the Center for Policing Research and Investigative Science at RTI International, she develops and implements training, technical assistance, and educational strategies that promote the derivation of polices focusing on sexual assault evidence to solve violent crimes. Dr. Melton is the co-director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance's National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) project. In this capacity, she coordinates and directs the activities and deliverables that provide the requested TTA to the grantees currently awarded under the SAKI project. She also directs the implementation of the SAKI vision in additional jurisdictions to address sexual assault case reform through a nationwide promotion and education platform. She is the author of Enacting an Improved Response to Sexual Assault; a Practitioner's Guide to Successful Sexual Assault Response Reform. Dr. Melton was a member of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-funded Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) working group and contributed to the development of the NIJ National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach publication. Dr. Melton has more than a decade of experience in forensic DNA analysis and has testified as an expert witness. Her knowledge and experience as a DNA forensic practitioner are integral to supporting other projects at RTI, including the NIJ-funded Forensic Technology Center of Excellence. A focal point of her work has been to use research, training, and education to facilitate the adoption of recommendations and best practices that recognize the value of forensic evidence examined with current forensic DNA technology as part of sexual assault case reform and obtaining justice for violent crimes.

          • Darrell Price
            Cold Case Sergeant, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

              Darrell Price is a Sergeant with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department where he started in January of 1981. He has worked as a Detective in fields such as Robbery, Homicide, and The Violent Crimes Task Force for over 14 years. Once promoted to Sergeant Darrell supervised the Sexual Assault division for more than 8 years. He Retired from full-time Law Enforcement in 2010 and was re-hired to supervise the CMPD's Cold-Case Unit which consist of both Homicides and Sex Assaults. The CMPD cold case unit has 3 full-time detectives, 6 part-time detectives and 10 volunteers. The unit carries a case load of over 3500 Sex Assaults and 700 Homicides. Sgt. Price also supervises 4 separate SAKI grants.

            • Amy Lightfoot
              Laboratory Director, Bureau of Forensic Services, Utah Department of Public Safety

                Amy Lightfoot is the Laboratory Director at the Utah Department of Public Safety Bureau of Forensic Services. She has spent the last 17 of her 25 years in public service at the Utah Department of Public Safety working as the Director of Crime Lab Operations, Quality and Process Improvement Director for the DPS Commissioner's Office, and Department Administrative Rules Coordinator. Amy has been recognized by the State of Utah for her work with all 12 divisions of Public Safety to improve performance across the department.

                In her role as the Director of Crime Lab Operations, Amy implemented operational changes leading to the elimination of the sexual assault kit backlog and substantial improvements to current caseload turnaround time. She was successful in acquiring greatly needed staffing, technology and resources to increase the lab's capacity for years to come. She has an educational background in Mathematics, Communications and Education and is published in Academic Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics and the Journal of School Health.

                Amy is a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), and participates in various committees focused on emerging issues in the forensic community.

              • Brendan McGuire
                Cold Case Homicide Detective, Portland Police Bureau

                  Det. McGuire has been with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) since 1996. In 2008, after 12 years working as a patrol officer and on a street crimes team, Brendan was promoted to the rank of Detective. Over the last 13 years, Det. McGuire has worked cases in multiple assignments, including Gang Enforcement, Homicide, Sex Crimes, and Sex Trafficking. For the past 5 years Brendan has been assigned to PPB's Cold Case Homicide Unit. Detective McGuire also heads PPB's Forensic Artist detail.

                • Orlando C Salinas
                  SAKI DNA Collection Coordinator, Texas Rangers

                    In January 2020, Orlando was selected as the Site Coordinator for the Texas Rangers' U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant 2019-AK-BX-0028 Expansion of the State DNA database. As the coordinator for this grant, Orlando oversees the collection lawfully owed DNA from 3,300 registered sex offenders who should have a DNA sample in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), but do not. Further, Orlando has developed a multidisciplinary working group to perform a statewide comprehensive census to determine the number of “eligible” offenders who do not have a DNA profile in CODIS, but should as the result of qualifying convictions and/or arrests. The comprehensive census performed in year one of this grant project illustrated up to 43,225 offenders may be eligible for DNA collection for entry into CODIS based on qualifying convictions and/or arrests. Orlando and the multidisciplinary team are reviewing each qualifying offender's computerized criminal history to verify DNA collection eligibility. Orlando has served with the Texas Department of Public Safety for six years.

                  • Trampas Gooding
                    Staff Lieutenant, Texas Rangers

                      Trampas Gooding has been in law enforcement since 1993 where he served as police officer in Central Texas. In 1998, he joined the Texas Department of Public Safety as a State Trooper and later promoted to Texas Ranger in 2004. During his career as a Texas Ranger, he has investigated and assisted numerous active and cold case homicide and sexual assault investigations and has assisted in numerous skeletal remains excavations. He has provided assistance to Texas Rangers and other agencies with case and crime scene review, evidential review and prioritization, DNA analysis review, and consultation for further investigative strategies. In 2020, he was promoted to Staff Lieutenant and assigned to Texas Ranger HQ to assist and coordinate a federal grant, called Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). The grant was provided to the Texas Rangers in 2019 from Department of Justice, Bureau of Assistance, to assist with furthering cold case investigation involving unsolved sexual assaults and sexually related homicides by utilizing advanced DNA testing and genetic genealogy methods. Lt. Gooding serves as the SAKI Site Coordinator and Investigation Coordinator to review qualifying cases and coordinate with laboratory officials, district attorneys, investigative agencies, and Texas Rangers state wide (252 counties) to further these cases in hopes of bringing justice to the victims and their families. He is a current member of the Texas Sheriff's Cold Case Team, a member of the International Homicide Investigator's Association, and a law enforcement consultant to Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State.

                    • Jeffery R Strain
                      Texas Ranger, Texas Department of Public Safety

                        Jeff Strain has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance from Texas Tech University. Jeff has almost 20 years of law enforcement experience  and holds a Master Peace Officer’s License. Jeff has worked as Texas Highway Patrol and Criminal Investigations Divisions of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Jeff is precision marksman operator and firearms instructor. Jeff  has previously served on the FBI-Public Corruption Task force in El Paso.  Jeff Strain is currently a Texas Ranger assigned to the Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program.

                      • Susan Hormann
                        Program Manager, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Owed DNA Unit

                          Susan Hormann is the Program Manager for the Washington County Sheriff's Office Owed DNA Unit in Hillsboro, Oregon. As the Program Manager she is responsible for tracking the grant progress, sending the letters to the offenders, and working with the law enforcement partners. She is also a Forensic Consultant for the Washington County District Attorney's Office and is assisting them on their Cold Case Prosecution Grant.

                          Susan's past positions includes working for the Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division for 27 years. She has a wide breadth of knowledge regarding forensic analysis including experience in crime scene processing, biology screening, trace analysis, blood alcohol analysis, and 18 years as a DNA analyst. The last eight year with the OSP she was in management and held numerous positions including DNA Unit Supervisor, Quality Assurance Manager, Operations Manager, and Interim Division Director. After retiring from OSP she worked for 4 years as a Forensic Consultant for the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office on the DANY grant and the PPB SAKI grant.

                        • Doug Hormann
                          Investigator, Washington County Sheriff's Office

                            Douglas Hormann is an Investigator in the Owed DNA Unit of the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Hillsboro, Oregon. As an Investigator in the ODU, he is responsible for investigating, locating and collecting DNA samples for inclusion in the Oregon CODIS database. He has also worked to create a “hands-off” DNA collection procedure that allowed the ODU to continue collecting DNA samples with only minimal disruption during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

                            Doug retired from the Washington County Sheriff's Office in 2014 after a 25-year career during which he served as a Patrol Deputy, Marine Deputy, School Resource Officer, Field Training Officer, Search & Rescue Coordinator, Emergency Manager and Instructor. In his spare time Doug enjoys woodworking, amateur astronomy and spoiling his granddaughters along with his wife Susan.

                          • Dane Plaza
                            Director of Federal Operations, Bode Technology

                              Mr. Dane Plaza is the Director of Federal Operations at Bode Technology located in Lorton, Virginia. Mr. Plaza is responsible for the technical oversight and program management of numerous federal forensic research and operations programs supporting various groups with the United States Government. He is currently serving as the Program Manager for a program that is providing services to a USG entity that is utilizing rapid DNA along the Southwest US border to identify and deter possible child trafficking by identifying fraudulent family units attempting to cross the border. He possesses over ten years of program management experience and 17 years of experience in plant, bacterial, and human genomics including several publications and presentations at various national forensic conferences. Mr. Plaza holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Viterbo University in LaCrosse Wisconsin.


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