Mississippi hires new forensics laboratory director

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory has hired a new director.

Mary Dukes, who has worked in the private sector and at crime labs in Louisiana, will now join Mississippi’s crime lab. Dukes is taking over for the state’s previous forensics lab director, Sam Howell, who retired last year after decades working for the state.

The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory provides forensic services to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The department has operations in Pearl, Batesville, Biloxi and Meridian.

Dukes has over 24 years of experience, according to a Mississippi Department of Public Safety press release. Prior to joining the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory, Dukes served as sales and technical team manager for QIAGEN, LLC in Germantown, Maryland.

She also previously worked at the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory and served as system quality manager and forensic DNA analyst at the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory.

Dukes has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She also holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Louisiana State University.