An RCMP expert testifying at Ibrahim Ali’s murder trial says the man’s DNA matched that found on the body of the teenage girl he is accused of killing in Burnaby, B.C., six years ago.
Christine Crossman told a B.C. Supreme Court jury on Wednesday that only DNA from the alleged victim, whose name is protected by a publication ban, and Ali were found on swabs taken from the body.
Ali has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of the 13-year-old, whose body was found in Burnaby’s Central Park early on July 19, 2017, just hours after her mother reported her missing.
Crossman, an RCMP forensic biologist, testified that the samples were taken from the girl’s vaginal and anal areas.
She said the DNA analysis that was eventually linked to Ali actually began under another scientist at the forensic lab who has since retired.
The change in personnel didn’t impact the analysis in any way, she said.
Crossman said she had fully reviewed and agreed with the previous scientist’s finding to the point where she was “taking ownership” of the results.
She also defended the reliability of the DNA assessment, saying the report was reviewed by another scientist based on exactly the same evidence, as is the procedure at the police forensic lab.
During earlier testimony, Crossman told the jury that the lab analyzed 14 pieces of evidence, 13 from the victim and one from the suspect, and detailed the lab’s protocol for chain of custody regarding exhibits.
Crossman has not yet been cross-examined by Ali’s defence lawyer.
A pathologist who conducted the victim’s autopsy earlier testified the girl died by strangulation and was found with injuries including bruising, scraping and tearing on the back of her head, as well as to her face, arms and legs.
Crown attorney Isobel Keeley said in an opening statement in April that the court would hear evidence showing the murder was random, but DNA results would prove Ali sexually assaulted the girl.
She said the evidence would show the teen was passing through the park when she was dragged off a pathway into the forest by Ali, sexually assaulted and strangled.
The defence has not yet told the jury its theory of events.