True crime meets forensic science
Dec. 7, 2022

Crowdfunding Cold Case DNA Analysis

There are plenty of worthy causes here in the United States and abroad that you can donate your money to. So, why would anyone donate money for DNA testing in cold cases? Well, there’s an entire online community dedicated to helping solve these cases. Through crowdfunding, DNA labs across the country are able to underwrite the $5000 price tag for the testing by just making a request online. Many smaller law enforcement agencies simply don’t have the money to do this.  

Carla Davis looks more like a chic socialite than a self-taught forensic genealogist who donates her money and time to help solve cold cases. She spoke to me from her well-appointed home where she lives with her husband, a real estate developer, in Dubai. But Carla comes from humble beginnings, from a tiny town called Purvis, Mississippi. She lost her mother when she was a little girl and never knew her father. 

Carla’s hobby becomes a mission 

It was this experience that led her to hunt down her own family roots. It was a success, and she was hooked. She now has money and the talent to help others solve cold cases. And that’s exactly what she’s doing.  

“I can't imagine what it feels like for these families who have waited years, decades, not knowing what happened to their family members, so I can think of no greater cause to be behind and contribute to than helping to solve these cold cases,” Carla said. 

The never-ending search for justice 

Because of the time difference, Carla works while we’re sleeping, and often has answers for law enforcement by morning. She has personally funded DNA testing for more than 20 cases in her home state of Mississippi. And she has no intention of stopping. 

Episode 19 of the What Remains podcastis about Carla and her generous gifts of time and money to solving cold cases. It’s a cause that is personal to her. In the episode she talks about the murder case that originally sparked her interest in funding DNA analysis.