Wednesday, March 6 2013, 08:58 PM MST
Nationwide DNA Database Leads Utah Officers To Arrests
By Chris Jones
(KUTV) For years the Combined DNA Index System has been a good resource for law enforcement agencies trying to track down bad guys. The nationwide data base started in 1995 has slowly been used to collect DNA samples from offenders and also evidence collected at crime scenes.
Despite having been around for nearly 2 decades it has taken some time for law enforcement to fully utilize the potential value of the tool. According to Jay Henry of the Utah State Crime Lab, the CODIS is finally coming into its own.
Monday night on 2News we told you about Thomas Monroe Gray, he was arrested this week after allegedly burglarizing several office suites in Salt Lake City back in September. According to charging documents, Gray apparently cut himself while busting the glass to one of the offices to get inside. The blood, albeit, just a little of it, was left at the crime scene.
Police say they took a sample of the blood, and submitted it to the Utah State Crime Lab. Several weeks later the lab returned the results of the sampling to Salt Lake City who later charged Gray with the crimes.
Henry says matches like these, particularly involving property crimes, are becoming more and more common. Henry says 10 years ago, using the CODIS database, his lab technicians would find a match between a potential criminal and a crime scene just a handful of times a year. He says now, thanks an every growing database, the Utah State Crime Lab will find a match once a week.
Henry says new laws requiring people convicted of violent felonies and others who have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or higher must now submit to a DNA sample. Today there are millions and millions of samples in the system, 80 to 90 thousand of those are from Utahns. Henry says the database is climbing at a rate of 8 to 9 thousand samples a year.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcast Group)