Thanks in large part to advances in DNA technology and the work of law enforcement officers devoted to investigating long-unsolved killings, a steady stream of cold-case homicides from throughout the state has been cracked in recent months.
Charges have been filed this year in at least seven killings dating back to 1976. All the cases depend in part on DNA evidence that links the suspects to the crimes....
The State Crime Lab, which processes DNA samples from across the state, essentially doubled its staff of DNA analysts when it hired about 30 new analysts in 2007, said Gary Hamblin, who oversees the crime lab as head of the Division of Law Enforcement Services in the state Department of Justice.
The extra staffing has helped the lab cut through a backlog of DNA samples while expediting the testing of high-priority cases, Hamblin said.
The lab expected a roughly 12% increase in cases this year, but the actual number of cases submitted to the lab so far in 2009 is significantly higher than anticipated, Hamblin said.
Credit Hamblin and DOJ.