Hold Team Meetings . Monitor and Evaluate Your Efforts . Sustain Your SART . Know Your Team . Critical Issues
In This Toolkit:
DNA Hits in Cold Cases Notifying Victims Offers practical suggestions for notifying victims following DNA cold case hits.
Using DNA to Solve Cold Cases Reviews the science and technology of DNA testing and databases and describes legal and practical considerations for applying DNA technology to unsolved cases. It also delivers a step-by-step process to help investigators select cases that would most likely be solved with DNA evidence.
The development of CODIS and other DNA databases presents challenges and benefits. The databases have allowed law enforcement to solve cold cases, which can help victims gain a sense of justice. On the other hand, cold case hits can retraumatize victims, who may not want to reopen the pain and fear of the trauma they experienced years earlier. In addition, due to the length of time involved in cold cases, your SART may need to assess and overcome the following issues for each case:
- Do police reports still exist?
- Does law enforcement still have all the evidence? Is it still viable?
- Are key law enforcement point persons still available to provide important case information?
- Are victims and witnesses available, willing, and able to cooperate with law enforcement?
- Are the victim’s medical records available?
- Are suspects out on parole or probation, and have they absconded from this supervision?