Suburban and outstate police departments in Minnesota are waiting months for DNA test results from the state’s crime lab, delaying investigations into serious crimes and leading to growing frustration, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It typically takes about four months to get test results from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for homicide cases and longer for property crimes.
That has local police worried that they are unable to take advantage of the latest crime-fighting technology to solve cases. In one murder trial expected this month, the case is largely built around DNA evidence taken from the suspected murder weapon: a screwdriver found at the scene. The body was discovered on Aug. 1. Police waited months for the DNA results — tests BCA acknowledges can be done in four to five days if given full attention. “Because criminal investigation is changing so rapidly, [DNA testing] is lagging behind,” Lakeville Police Chief Tom Vonhof said. “It becomes a bottleneck in the system.”