Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,500,000)
The Idaho State Police (ISP) has been integral in leading sexual assault response culture change in Idaho. The Idaho Cold Case and Advanced DNA Methods (ICCADM) Task Force (also led by ISP, in partnership with the Idaho Prosecuting Attorney’s Association (IPAA), the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association (ICOPA), the Idaho Sheriff’s Association (ISA), the Idaho Statistical Analysis Center (ISAC), the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN), and Boise State University (BSU)) was established in 2020 to begin investigating and prosecuting cases resulting from unsolved sexual assaults and homicides where DNA evidence still exists and no probative matches exist through CODIS.
The ICCADM task force has been very effective in the last two (2) years working with state, local, and county agencies to identify cold cases where advanced DNA methods, including Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy (FIGG), could provide useful leads in the case. The ICCADM identified fifty (50) cases in Idaho that could benefit from FIGG advanced DNA technology and database searching. The team worked to set up a state contract with a private laboratory for the DNA testing and searching. The team then worked to secure grant funding to work the cases. Unfortunately, after several years, the grant funding was ruled no longer eligible for FIGG.
The goal of this grant is to utilize advanced DNA testing and research methodologies to help identify and apprehend violent offenders linked to sexual assaults and sexual assault homicides in the entire state of Idaho. The ISP has a unique arrangement with its local entities to provide resources and ensure the integrity and lawfulness of any familial searching or molecular genealogy searching in their state. The ISP will leverage its partnerships, successes, and tenure to inform policies and practices in Idaho and nationally. This goal will be achieved through the following deliverables:
(1) Formally establishing the existing ICCADM into the state SAKI team with a full-time site coordinator and full-time investigative staff.
(2) Training new full-time SAKI investigators to complete case investigations and work with local, county, and tribal entities to investigate, solve, and prosecute these cases.
(3) Training new full-time staff to conduct forensic genealogy searches to further the investigation work and support local agencies.
(4) Enhancing task force competencies and capabilities through cross-disciplinary training, especially as it relates to victim-centered practices and the probative value of forensic evidence.
(5) Entering SAK cases as well as the sexually-motivated homicide cases into ViCAP to help solve additional crimes.