Michigan Catches Up on 10-Year DNA Backlog

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A 10-year backlog of DNA samples from convicted felons has been eliminated by the Michigan State Police, helping investigators solve crimes more easily. A grant worth nearly $3.4 million from the National Institute of Justice helped Michigan reduce its backlog of DNA samples by allowing the state to send 80,640 samples to a private laboratory in Springfield, Va., to be analyzed, state police told the Associated Press.

Now the backlog is gone and DNA profiles again are being analyzed in the state, said Jeff Nye, a forensic scientist with the State Police’s biology unit. DNA profiles from Michigan go into a state database that is accessible to other states and the federal government. More than 100,000 DNA profiles have been added to the state’s database to make it one of the largest in the country, officials said. Investigators use the database to match samples to DNA found at crime scenes to determine the offender. Since January, the database has helped in nearly 400 Michigan investigations and connected more than 300 convicted offenders to open cases, the State Police said. In one case, a match connected a suspect to three unsolved rapes in 1993, 1995 and 1996, the department said.

Link: http://www.freep.com/news/mich/dna1e_20040901.htm

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