(LONDON, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced 132 cold case crimes now have a prime suspect through a DNA match made possible only because of Senate Bill 77. SB 77, which took effect July 1, 2011, requires DNA collection on all felony arrestees. All DNA profiles in Ohio are housed within the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
“Finding someone’s DNA at a crime scene is often times the piece of evidence that makes the case and lands the criminal in prison, where he or she belongs,” said Attorney General DeWine. “With seven months of data, we now see how SB 77 is helping us identify more bad guys, who just might have gotten away with their crimes had it not been for the new law.”
Because of SB 77, law enforcement agencies across Ohio are required to collect DNA samples from adults arrested on felony charges. The samples are then processed and DNA profiles are developed. The DNA profiles are entered into the Ohio DNA database at BCI. The database uses the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) software to search for matches with Ohio and U.S. unsolved and solved crimes. Currently, BCI’s Ohio DNA database holds 421,584 DNA records from convicted offenders and arrestees.
After tracking more than one hundred leads that went cold, Englewood Police Sergeant Mike Lang finally got the break he was looking for in a ten-year-old rape case when an Ohio man had to submit a DNA sample following the new law. The 2001 rape victim was a 14-year-old girl.
“Informing the victim and her family that this long torturous mystery was finally moving towards closure was one of the happiest moments of my career,” said Sgt. Lang. “SB 77 connected dots in a case that might have never been connected. For this, I know a family and a certain young woman, now 25, who are very, very thankful.”
“Our BCI scientists are processing 63 percent more DNA profiles because of SB 77. We simply have more data in our system,” said DeWine. “And that has led to more ‘hits’ to unsolved crimes. We hit to an average 127 unsolved crimes per month now, giving law enforcement agencies around the state and the country the break in their cold case that will hopefully lead to more victims finding justice.”
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840