DNA samples pay off in suspects for Charleston police

A partnership between area law enforcement agencies and Marshall University's Forensic Science Center is seeing results. After sending DNA samples to the West Virginia center to be tested, the results have now pointed out suspects in another 13 unsolved cases. The Post and Courier reports:

The first batch of samples sent to Marshall has helped identify suspects in another 13 unsolved burglaries and auto break-ins, said Judy Gordon, director of the Charleston police forensic services division. In addition, DNA evidence established a link between two other crimes, though the suspect has not been identified, she said.

"We're really excited to get off to such a good start, and we're hoping for continued success," Gordon said.

This is the second time that the Marshall DNA testing program has brought results for local law enforcement. In April, a suspect in a September 2007 break-in was identified.

A second batch of DNA samples is already being tested at the center. The reason for the program is that state crime labs are often too busy with violent crimes such as homicides or rapes to provide much help on car break-ins, burglaries, and other property crimes. So in an effort to help get some of those cases out of the "unsolved" box, the Marshall University center decided to help out.

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