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Added August 2011DNA

Cold Cases

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?