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Solving Cold Cases with DNA

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $500,000)

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department serves a population of over 2 million residents and an area of 20,186 square miles, the largest county in the contiguous United States. The Department currently has over 562 unsolved homicide cases. The Department's jurisdiction experiences an average of 75 homicides per year; and the Department's Crime Lab currently has 1,355 cases which are assigned for DNA analysis and 189 cases assigned for stain preservation. The demands for DNA testing far outweigh the current capabilities of the Crime Lab, and the lack of resources has resulted in delays in the processing of evidence. The purpose of this proposal is to re-examine and re-investigate older unsolved cases dated back 75 years with an emphasis on homicides. With the Department's Crime Lab using the available technology of PCR STR-DNA extraction and profiling, cases that could not be solved in years past will be re-examined to determine if any of the cases are amenable to addition forensic testing. Evidence will be re-inventoried, screened, assessed, processed for DNA profiling, submitted to CODIS, and followed up on subjects identified through DNA testing. Arrest and prosecutions and/or exonerations will be the focus of this collaborative project.

Date Created: August 23, 2011