North Carolina has hundreds of unsolved homicide cases that may have untested DNA evidence available for analysis. The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) will assign work funded by the Byrne JAG grant to as many as eight retirees, or Special Investigators. These workers all have experience with investigating homicides. They will collaborate with current law enforcement officers from different regions in North Carolina to analyze unsolved homicides and research whether or not DNA evidence is available for testing in these cases. By re-examining each of these investigations, it is possible that the work funded by this project may uncover untested DNA samples, allowing investigators to identify new leads in cases that have gone cold. Where possible, the NCSBI hopes to establish new leads, which could lead to additional charges, convictions and resolutions in these cases. Since October of 2017, the SBI has been focusing on specific unsolved homicide cases believed by investigators to have a high probability of resolution. Since the program began, investigators have been working on 34 additional cases across the state. Of those 34 cases, two have been closed following consultation with prosecutors. The other 32 cases are still in various stages of investigation, including four which have been presented to prosecutors for decisions or potential indictments. Additionally, since the program's inception, biological evidence from 14 cases has been submitted to various forensic laboratories, including the US Army Crime Lab, various private labs and the NC State Crime Laboratory. Lab analysis has resulted in the extraction of viable DNA profiles in 5 of those cases so far.
Cold Case; Prosecution; Murder; Victims; Forensics; Data; Investigator