|| Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Public Information Director
08/02/11 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DNA Cold Case Unit Proves Successful
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has received two National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Solving Cold Cases with DNA grants. These grants have allowed the OSBI to identify and review cases, analyze biological evidence, and investigate violent crime cold cases that have the potential to be solved using DNA analysis. Cases being reviewed range from recent cold cases to cases that occurred in the early 1970’s.
Case reviews began in November 2009. To date, 428 cases have been reviewed and entered into the OSBI Cold Case Database. To qualify for analysis and investigation, the case has to contain evidence suitable for DNA analysis. Currently, 117 cases are pending submittal of evidence or pending DNA analysis. Seventy-eight cases have had DNA analysis completed and are being followed up by OSBI agents or local law enforcement. DNA profiles from 53 cases have been entered into CODIS, which has resulted in 12 CODIS hits.
Grant funding has allowed extensive analysis to be performed on more pieces of evidence than generally accepted under routine laboratory policy. Funds have also been used to allow OSBI agents and local law enforcement detectives to travel to collect known DNA samples and interview suspects.
In early 2010, an exhumation was performed in hopes of using DNA from an unidentified female to identify her and her killer. Using new techniques, her DNA profile was obtained and entered into CODIS. The OSBI continues to work to identify her and her killer. In the metro area, two serial rapists were identified using DNA analysis and are currently being investigated by local authorities. Recently in southeast Oklahoma, an exhumation was performed to collect the victim’s DNA in a 27-year-old homicide to aid the investigation and prosecution of the suspect.
In August 2010, the Cold Case grant underwent an NIJ Progress Assessment. The Assessors found the OSBI Cold Case Unit to be in compliance with all areas, including Budget Expenditures, Administration Oversight, and Overall Project Progress. There were no Issues for Resolution or Action Items reported.
The OSBI Cold Case Unit continues to focus efforts on working unsolved cold cases in hopes of bringing closure to the victims and their families.