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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Cold Hits and Cold Cases

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Photo of a dna strand and an ashtray with cigarettes
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

DNA profiles from "no suspect" cases are uploaded to the Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) database and routinely searched against local, state, and federal databases. The term "cold" in relation to a DNA case typically means the case was in an unsolved status when the evidence DNA profile was entered into CODIS. "Hit" refers to a match between a person's DNA profile obtained in one case to that obtained in another case. More typically, the "hit" refers to a match between a DNA profile obtained from a crime scene and a DNA profile obtained from a convicted person.

In this topic you will learn about cold hits and cold cases.


Monoacrylamide is a known neurotoxin and must be handled with care.

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