DNA Crime Lab Cracking Cold Cases
Wisconsin’s DNA crime laboratory is yielding results in catching criminals. Seven murders dating back to 1976 have been solved using DNA evidence processed by the crime laboratories this year. Locally, the Polk County Sheriff’s Department was aided by the DNA crime laboratory this year in solving an ongoing theft investigation of thousands of dollars worth of property.
I supported increasing staffing and funding for the crime laboratories, particularly as they sought to address the backlog in DNA evidence that required analyzing. The State Legislature acted last session to provide additional positions and funds that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen requested for this purpose. The crime laboratory is successfully dealing with the backlog and producing new evidence that is helping investigators and law enforcement solve crimes.
Law enforcement agencies have cited the value of the DNA crime laboratory in their efforts to identify criminals. DNA evidence can assist law enforcement by providing a direct link between evidence and a suspect, which can save local law enforcement time and money that can be utilized on other investigations.