The Illinois crime lab notified Chicago police in June 2008 that DNA evidence linked three brutal rapes in the city, but it was not until this summer that detectives reinterviewed the victims and gathered vital information leading to an arrest, reports the Chicago Tribune. During the yearlong delay, Tommie Naylor is alleged to have kidnapped and raped two more teenage girls, a harrowing example of the Police Department’s struggles to respond swiftly to DNA test results.
“There shouldn’t have been another girl attacked after me,” said the third victim, who was 16 in 2006 when she was grabbed at a bus stop and pulled into a car in the mid-afternoon. “The police didn’t do what they were supposed to do.” DNA test results in rape, murder, and burglary cases pour into the police department in record numbers, but the city has not increased resources to handle the potentially crucial information, officials said. In fact, the department downsized its special DNA unit. From 2001 to 2008, Chicago police got 4,449 DNA hits, which link known felons to unsolved crimes or tie multiple crimes to the same unidentified person. Most of those came in sexual assault investigations. Today, 41 percent of those cases are still open.