Monthly Archives: May 2015

Will New Focus on Rape Kit Tests Put Thousands Behind Bars?

TBacklog of sexual assault kitshe evidence piled up for years, abandoned in police property rooms, warehouses and crime labs. Now, thousands of sexual assault kits are giving up their secrets — and rapists who’ve long remained free may finally face justice.
A dramatic shift is now taking hold across the country as police and prosecutors scramble to process these kits, and use DNA matches to track down predators, many of whom have attacked more women while evidence of their crimes sat in storage.

FBI notifies crime labs of errors used in DNA match calculations since 1999

ChromosomesThe FBI has notified crime labs across the country that it has discovered errors in data used by forensic scientists in thousands of cases to calculate the chances that DNA found at a crime scene matches a particular person, several people familiar with the issue said.

State-of-the-Art Lab To Help Identify Lost Service Members

DPAA-Hawaii-lab RenderingSifting through the remains of lost military members is no easy task, but it’s one researchers and scientists take very seriously at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency labs in Hawaii. Now, they have a brand-new building that will centralize their efforts to identify the lost.

Maryland’s DNA Database Records 4,000th Hit

MD State PoliceColonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, today announced another milestone for Maryland’s DNA database, supporting its role as an invaluable tool to law enforcement in the ongoing effort to reduce crime, apprehend criminals, and exonerate the innocent.

Iowa State University to Establish Forensic Science Center

Iowa Fingerprint AnalysisAMES, Iowa – Iowa State University has been awarded a five-year, up to $20 million grant to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence.

Rape Kit Backlog Issues Affect Local Police Departments

sexual assault kitsSTATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY – An advocacy group for rape victims released a disturbing new report surrounding untested rape kits.
Thousands of these kits are sitting in evidence rooms while victims wait. Wednesday, a Senate committee met to take a closer look at the problem in an effort to end the backlog.
Advocates said the backlog is proof police departments don’t take rape seriously. Police departments said there isn’t enough money to process all the kits and some go untested because the victims choose not to prosecute.

Madison-based scientists aim to bring home MIAs the military missed

Josh HymanA group of Madison-based scientists is forming a team to find the remains of long-lost World War II veterans and bring them home for proper burial.
If private fundraising goals are met, the Missing In Action Recovery and Identification Project would meld the skills of UW-Madison scholars of history, genetic analysis and archeology.

Veterans Remain Unidentified

POW MIARENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) — Thousands of families wait patiently for the federal government to deliver on a promise to “leave no man behind.” Tens of thousands of service members killed in WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam wars remain unidentified. That means some families have now waited for 70 years or more for closure and a proper burial. How can that be when taxpayers are shelling out $100 million dollars a year?

MH17 crash: Ukraine says search operation over

MH17The operation for the search and identification of people killed in the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region is over, Ukraine officially announced.

State’s new $30 million-plus crime lab ready

New Crime LabWith about 90,000 square feet, the new state Forensics Laboratory is tripled the size of the old Crime Lab off of Woodrow Wilson Drive in Jackson, which had about 26,000 square feet.

Dover DNA lab helps ID fallen WWII soldier

BeetheThe remains of another missing World War II service member have been identified – with the help of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory at Dover Air Force Base.

Michael Fitz: US Special Operations Command Tests Devices for Rapid DNA Analysis

Blue Helix4The U.S. Special Operations Command has to test DNA scanners in an effort to reduce the time required to process genetic evidence from weeks to less than two hours and replace the use of fingerprint analysis in target confirmation, Defense News reported Wednesday.

New Dubai Police forensics lab stays one step ahead

Dubai Forensics LabDubai: Dubai Police’s new forensics laboratory being built at a cost of $100 million (Dh367.28 million) is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

New UW program could help reunite families with remains of MIA military members

Cpl. Robert ZieglerUPDATE (WKOW) — About 1,400 families in Wisconsin are among the tens of thousand across the country who never got closure after losing a loved one in World War II.

Mansion Fire: DNA on Pizza Crust Led Authorities to DC Murder Suspect, Sources Say

DNA and PizzaAuthorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence — but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.