An aging brick warehouse where Dallas police store evidence is in such poor shape that staffers fear it could burn down, destroying evidence and threatening the outcome of thousands of cases, reports the Dallas Morning News. With every downpour, rain streams through a leaky roof onto drugs, guns, and other evidence. An “unsound electrical infrastructure” plagues the building, wreaking havoc and frying computers. Problems at the 50-year-old building have already destroyed or damaged some evidence, including two vials of frozen blood from a rape victim that thawed after a power outage two years ago.
Some of the 60,000 guns in the evidence warehouse sit under ceiling tiles that show water damage. A $32 million proposal to build a combined police property room and quartermaster facility didn’t make the final cut for a bond package headed to voters in November. When police seize evidence, it winds up at the 53,689-square-foot facility. It’s a 24-hour operation that employs 40 people. In the cavernous, airless warehouse, about 1 million items are stored. It smells like death. Boxes stamped “biohazard” – and there are thousands of them – contain DNA evidence that could one day prove useful. Minor investigative documents connected to the Kennedy assassination remain.