December 14, 2009
Thousands of DNA samples missing from state databanks
An Associated Press review found tens of thousands of DNA samples are missing from state databanks across the country because they were never taken or were lost. The missing evidence - combined with big backlogs at the nation's crime labs that result in DNA samples sitting on shelves for years without being analyzed and entered into the databanks - is preventing investigators from cracking untold numbers of cases. And some of those gaps have had tragic consequences.
"If you got missing samples, some of those people are out there raping your wives and abducting and murdering your children this week," said former Charlottesville, Va., police Capt. J.E. Harding, who helped uncover missing samples in that state during a search for a serial rapist.