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Jaclynn McKay

Forensic Scientist


BS, Forensic Science, Virginia Commonwealth University


Jaclynn McKay is a forensic scientist at RTI where she provides technical knowledge in crime scene investigation and forensic serology. She uses her expertise to assist on projects pertaining to the implementation of crime scene standards, maintaining a national clearinghouse for missing and unidentified persons, and sharing knowledge to address current challenges in the field of forensic science.  

Currently, Ms. McKay serves on various activity teams for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence. Ms. McKay participates in the planning and execution of live and virtual events, such as the Firearms and Toolmark Policy and Practice Forum and the annual National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium. She also provides technical assistance to production staff, presenters, and students during events. She has coordinated the development of, conducted research for, and provided expertise on various educational materials across multiple forensic disciplines, including sexual assault response, overdose fatality reviews, and a footwear/tire tread three-dimensional scanner. Ms. McKay also supports the production and execution of the Just Science podcast through script review, content generation, coordinating guests, and hosting.

Ms. McKay is a part of the scientific team for the Implementation of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) Standards for Scene Investigation. In this capacity, she assists with the development of training videos that document the proper procedures for collecting, packaging, and preserving trace evidence. She is also helping to design and coordinate a two-phase interagency study on crime scene analysis using virtual reality tools.

Additionally, Ms. McKay serves as an Associate Regional Program Specialist for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). In this role, she aids NamUs stakeholders by providing data entry support and helps facilitate forensic services.

Before joining RTI in 2022, Ms. McKay was a Special Agent in the Crime Scene Department at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Forensic Services Laboratory. She conducted over 200 scene investigations across the state of South Carolina. She was responsible for documenting, collecting, and preserving evidence from scenes and testified in judicial proceedings as an expert in crime scene investigation. She also performed professional duties as a commissioned law enforcement officer. Ms. McKay was a departmental expert in shooting incident documentation, bloodstain pattern documentation, DNA collection, and technical report preparation and review.

From 2015 to 2016, Ms. McKay was a forensic serologist in the DNA Casework Department at the SLED Forensic Services Laboratory. During that time, she analyzed over 400 cases for the presence of biological materials and testified in judicial proceedings as an expert in body fluid identification.

In addition to her work, Ms. McKay is an International Association for Identification (IAI) Certified Crime Scene Analyst and serves on the IAI Crime Scene Investigation Science and Practice Subcommittee. She also serves on the North Carolina IAI Conference Committee and holds several professional memberships, including the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (IABPA).

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