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Denver Cold Case Collaborative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $533,200)

The Denver District Attorney’s Office (DDAO) proposes the Denver Cold Case Collaborative to resolve violent crime cold cases through the investigation and prosecution of cases where a suspect’s DNA profile has been generated. The project employs leading edge forensic capabilities and collaboration between the DDAO, and Denver Police Department's (DPD) Major Crimes division and Crime Laboratory to identify and prosecute perpetrators. This project will meet the goals of the 2023 Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA grant program by increasing the number of violent crime cold case prosecutions and decreasing the number of unresolved violent crime cold cases awaiting prosecution. DPD and the DDAO have identified an estimated 22 cases where suspect DNA exists that are eligible for work under this award. Primary activities include: adding capacity to the DDAO by maintaining a current cold case Deputy District Attorney; allocating overtime for forensic scientists to analyze forensic evidence to assist prosecutors with the litigation of violent crime cold cases; allocating overtime for cold case Detectives to conduct post-CODIS hit or genealogy identification investigations; dedicating funds for cold case Detective travel to conduct interviews and collect DNA comparison samples; and finally, contributing overtime for entering cases into the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) and following-up on outstanding cold case arrest warrants.  Forensic genetic genealogy DNA analysis and searching (FGGS) will also derive new investigative leads to identify perpetrators and move the cases forward to prosecution. Expected outcomes are a decrease in the number of unresolved violent crime cold cases, benefiting the families of victims whose lives have been tragically impacted by a senseless violent crime.            

The service area for the proposed project is the City and County of Denver. Denver has a population of approximately 718,000 people, making it the 5th most populous state capitol in the US. Intended beneficiaries are the families and loved ones of those victims in identified cold cases.

Denver Police Department’s Major Crimes division and Crime Laboratory (Crime Lab) will be a subrecipient and will use this award for overtime for forensic scientists and detectives to decrease the number of unresolved violent crime cold cases awaiting prosecution.

Date Created: September 14, 2023