CODIS Cracks 1000th Case - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

03.09.07

CODIS Cracks 1000th Case

DNA testing has proven it's value in Texas. As of today, it has put 1,000 criminals behind bars who may otherwise be free.
   Including one man guilty of what once was a 23 year old cold murder case in Amarillo.
    Newschannel 10's Marissa Bagg joins us live in the newsroom to explain how the CODIS system cracked the local case.
   After two decades without leads. The database revealed a possible suspect, who was later convicted.
    Without CODIS the case may have never been closed.
"It came out of new mexico and that hit came out of the national database and identified our suspect and we found brought him back here and he confessed to committing the 1981 homicide," says Lieutenant Gary Trupe, with Amarillo's Special Crimes' Unit.
   The system has helped crack several sexual assault cases in the panhandle.
   Statewide, this is the breakdown:
   Sexual assault cases are the most common solved by the system because DNA is often left at the scene.
"Across the nation and the state you submit knowns and unknowns, and you hope your unknown matching some known person so you might be able to solve your case," says Lt. Trupe.
   Not every hit closes a case, but it often gives a good lead. 
"Even once you get the hit you have to go back and get a sample to confirm it's the right person, it gives you a direction to go, you still have work to do," says Lt. Trupe.
   According to state law not every inmate in Texas is required to provide a DNA sample.
   Lt. Trupe says texas would benefit if that law changed.
"I think if that was done that every inmate had to give a DNA sample, there would be a vast amount of cases that would be solved that we don't know about, from criminals who move around the state."
 
   Right now the database includes 280,000 offenders records in the state of Texas.
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