Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $470,000)
The Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA program provides funds to support the prosecution of violent crime cold cases, where DNA from a suspect has been identified (suspect(s) may be known or unknown). Provided that DNA attributed to a known or unknown suspect has been identified, funding support includes investigative activities and crime and forensic analyses that could lead to prosecuting violent crime cold cases, and decreasing the number of violent crime cold cases awaiting prosecution.
The primary objectives are: 1) Prosecution of cold cases involving violent crime where suspects have been identified through DNA evidence; and 2) Decreasing the number of cold case violent crimes where suspect DNA has been identified. The following activities are permissible as secondary objectives. All secondary objective activities must directly relate to cases where suspect DNA has been identified which include: 1) Increasing the capacity for state and local prosecution offices to address cold cases involving violent crime; and 2) Identifying, locating, collecting, processing, and analyzing evidence, including non-DNA evidence, to assist prosecutors with the litigation of violent crime cold cases where suspect DNA has been identified.
The recipient will use grant funds to pay for forensic genealogical testing and searching, which combines DNA analysis with traditional genealogy and familial research to deliver new leads. The states forensic laboratory will coordinate with an outside vendor for these specialized DNA tests. The grant will also support traditional DNA analysis and the investigative police work required to generate arrests and convictions, including reviewing complete case files, interviewing witnesses, and building relationships with victims families.