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Prioritizing Cold Case CODIS Hit Follow-up: Strategies for Sexual Assault Investigators

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2018
3 pages

This instructional paper sponsored by the federal Sexual Assault Initiative (SAKI) outlines a prioritization process for proper staffing and follow-up investigative work after receiving a CODIS hit from a submitted DNA profile in a sex offense investigation.


A CODIS hit should be assigned to an investigator and his/her supervisor within 5 days of the initial notification. They should receive and analyze all information and paperwork produced by a crime laboratory regarding the CODIS hit. A section on general investigative follow-up focuses on the details of research that should be done in preparing the case. This includes classifying the hit as probative or not probative, reviewing the case for the possibility that the CODIS hit may be from a consensual partner, researching the available intelligence on the hit suspect, and obtaining the suspect's photo close to the time when the sexual assault occurred. Possible signs of a consensual partner are listed in this report. A section on suspect contact considerations addresses preparation for interviewing the suspect and what to cover in the interview, such as questions on the suspect's familiarity with the alleged crime and its location. Other investigative considerations relevant to a CODIS hit include determining whether a statute of limitations exists for the alleged crime and whether any other crimes may be related to this case.

Date Published: February 1, 2018