After several months of delay because of managerial problems, a highly touted mitochondrial DNA program is up and running at the Connecticut state police forensics laboratory, the Hartford Courant says. Evidence from a sexual assault case and from a residential burglary were among the first two cases tested, said Michael Adamowicz, lead criminalist in charge of the program. The FBI had warned state police in November that it had 60 days to begin operating the federal DNA program or face sanctions. It was one of four laboratory sites in the U.S. chosen by the FBI.
“We anticipate a substantial decrease in the backlog of mitochondrial casework in the United States as a result of their participation in this program,” said FBI agent Ann Todd in Washington, D.C. The expensive, relatively new process for DNA testing can help authorities solve cold cases or identify decayed human remains. The designation of becoming one of the FBI’s testing sites came with more than $1 million in federal funding for training, renovations, and up to nine new employees at the laboratory. The FBI also picked laboratories in New Jersey, Arizona, and Minnesota.