U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)

The City of Dayton, Dayton Police Department (DPD) is seeking grant funding to prosecute violent cold cases where DNA has been extracted from an unknown suspect(s).   The primary activities of this project are to review old case files, re-analyze existing evidence, resubmit evidence where technology capabilities have enhanced, re-interview witnesses and victims, etc.  The expected outcomes of this project are to obtain approval from prosecutors for criminal charges, and then ultimately a conviction.  The area of focus for this project is the corporate limits of Dayton, Ohio.  The intended beneficiaries are vast- from the victims of the crimes, their families, and the community as a whole. Many of the crimes that the Cold Case focuses on surround communities that are disproportionally affected by violence.  Many of these communities are characterized as being underserved due to their lower economic status, amongst others.  In addition, many of these violent acts are committed against the Black population.  This proposal has the goal of solving crimes, which will strengthen community trust towards the police.  

DPD is responsible for investigating all cases, past and present.  DPD’s  Cold Case Unit focuses specifically on cases which have not been able to be solved through traditional means and a lengthy amount of time has passed.  The Cold Case Unit focuses specifically on Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Part 1 violent crimes.  The Cold Case Unit uses evidence-based practices, relying heavily on DNA analysis and entries into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), when furthering these investigations.  The Cold Case Unit is staffed by three full-time detectives.  One of the goals of this grant is to fund  three experienced investigators who are very skilled at investigations.  The ultimate goal of the Cold Case Unit is to solve cold cases and to hold the suspect(s) accountable in the court of law.

Date Created: September 27, 2022