Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $219,723)
To address the lack of resources and to fulfill our responsibility to the 33 victims of unsolved homicides in St. Johns County and their families, the SJSO is requesting funding from the National Institute of Justice and proposes an eighteen month initiative, "SJSO Solving Cold Cases with DNA." This initiative will be in partnership with the St. Johns County Medical Examiner's Office, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and the St. Johns County State Attorney's Office Homicide Investigative Unit (HIU) of the 7th Judicial Circuit. The initiative will allow the SJSO to develop more effective procedures for reviewing and prioritizing unsolved homicide cold cases to determine the potential for solving cases using DNA technology.
The requested funding from the National Institute of Justice will allow the SJSO to implement the following elements of the proposed initiative.
- The SJSO in conjunction with FDLE will train and equip two SJSO Forensic Review Specialists who will examine, collect, and prepare biological evidence for DNA testing for 33 unsolved homicide cold cases.
- The SJSO will purchase equipment and supplies associated with the examination, collection, and preparation of biological evidence for DNA testing. Evidentiary items found suitable for DNA analysis will be submitted to accredited laboratories for testing.
- The SJSO will ensure specialized training for the Cold Case Investigative Team in cold case investigations management.
- The SJSO Cold Case Investigative Team will review cases referred by the Cold Case Investigative Supervisor and make recommendations concerning follow-up investigations or actions.
- The Cold Case Investigative Team will ensure the active follow-up investigation of suspects identified through DNA analysis and when applicable, will submit completed investigations to the State Attorney's Office for prosecution.
- When applicable, the unknown DNA profiles will be submitted for inclusion in the CODIS database.