California Clears Backlog Of Crime Scene DNA Tests

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – By hiring more analysts and updating the technology, the California Attorney General’s office has eliminated the months-long backlog of DNA testing, which is going to be a big help to local investigators who rely on DNA evidence to solve crimes.

Last year, the state crime lab tested 5,400 pieces of evidence, that’s 24 percent more than two years ago. California has the largest DNA bank in the U.S., which means that cold case investigators are anxious to re-run DNA profiles that didn’t come up with a match in the past. Before, the tests would take four months to complete, but now those tests can be done in 30 days.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“They may think there’s DNA on a shirt, or they think there’s DNA on a can so they’ll submit those for testing. But if they’re waiting for a long time, often suspects can leave or the investigation goes stale,” said Special Assistant Attorney General Suzy Loftuss, who said the quick turnaround will embolden investigators.

Meanwhile counties like Alameda are being encouraged to bring their untested rape kits to the state in cases where the suspect hasn’t been identified, and the state promises to get those kits tested within 15 days or less.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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