The Idaho State Police Forensic Services has received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program since 2007. With the funding, staff were able to work to solve a six-year-old rape cold case that ended up spanning multiple states and jurisdictions.
About the Program
This program provides funding to eligible forensic laboratories to process, and increase the capacity to process, forensic DNA and DNA database samples for entry into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
Program Successes and Effect on the Community
In the summer of 2003, a woman in Mountain Home, Idaho, was kidnapped at knifepoint, raped several times in a semitruck, and left on Interstate 84 about 13 miles from the Oregon border. After the ordeal, the victim was transported to the hospital, where a medical team performed a sexual assault examination.
According to the victim’s statement, two men raped her. The Idaho State Police Forensic Services were able to analyze the DNA collected from the sexual assault examination kit. A few months later, scientists were able to link an unidentified assailant to the crime and determined that the two unknown males in the crime appeared to be related, likely father and son. Both unknown DNA profiles were entered into the national DNA database, CODIS, and the wait for justice began.
Six years later, in July 2009, the DNA database produced a hit on one of the profiles developed in the Idaho case. The database recognized Douglas Steinemor as an alleged rapist after he was arrested in Florida. Florida law enforcement alerted local Idaho detective Vickie Gooch, who then traveled to Florida to interview the suspect and obtain a second sample for analysis. Steinemor was arrested in February 2010, admitted to kidnapping and raping the victim, and named his father, Hans Holsopple, as his accomplice. Holsopple had worked as a long-haul truck driver.
Steinemor and Holsopple were both prosecuted and convicted for their crimes. Holsopple pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping and rape in October 2010 and received two life-in-prison sentences. Steinemor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two 30-year sentences in prison.
See the DNA CEBR section of our site for information about the BJA program through which funding was provided.
If your agency, organization, or community has been positively impacted by BJA funding, let us know.