DNA collection law helping Indiana officers complete unsolved crimes
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The recently enacted law requiring DNA samples from those arrested for an alleged felony offense is helping officers complete unsolved crimes.
The Indiana State Police Laboratory compiled information this week for the Indiana Legislature about SB322, which was passed in the 2017 legislative session and became law on January 1, 2018.
The law states that those arrested for an alleged felony offense must submit a DNA sample via a cheek swab as part of the in-processing at a local county jail. The swabs are entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), when before only convicted felons were entered into the system.
These DNA samples are then forwarded to the ISP Indianapolis Regional Laboratory for analysis and entered into the CODIS database. This collection of data allows police to match the gathered DNA to that of previous cases, referred to as 'hits'.
Police say the first arrestee hit was on Jan. 14, 2018, and matched to an unsolved rape investigation that began in 2016. 44 different counties in Indiana have been involved in hits, including hits between Indiana 23 other states in the first quarter of 2018.
January-March 2018 CODIS Data:
Total Offender Samples Received, inclusive of both convicted offender and felony arrests: 12,705
Convicted Offender Samples: 3,330- This number reflects samples of persons arrested prior to January 1, 2018 that have since been convicted of a felony offense through March 31, 2018
While it cannot be stated with absolute certainty, it is anticipated this number will begin to decrease over future quarters as the number of cases of persons arrested prior to January 1, 2018 continue to process through the judicial system
Felony Arrest Samples: 9,375 - This number reflects the number of samples submitted from persons arrested for suspected felony offenses since January 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018
Total CODIS Hits: 244
46 hits attributed to the 3,330 new convicted offender samples collected Jan. 1 to March 31, 2018
72 hits attributed to the 9,375 felony arrest samples collected Jan. 1 to March 31
126 hits attributed to recently completed unsolved crime scene samples
Nine of the 126 hits are case to case matches. Case to case means separate criminal investigations that may involve the same reporting police agency or different agencies
The other 117 of the 126 are new case profiles that match offenders previously entered in CODIS
“We are very pleased with the results seen thus far and are confident more and more crimes will be solved with the combination of convicted and arrested persons samples being matched in the CODIS program,” Maj. Steve Holland, commander of the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division said. “None of this would have been possible without the enabling legislation, as well as the cooperation of all the county jail personnel who collect the DNA samples and the diligent efforts of state police laboratory scientists that are processing these samples for input into CODIS.”