Iowa State University to Establish Forensic Science Center

Iowa Fingerprint AnalysisAMES, Iowa – Iowa State University has been awarded a five-year, up to $20 million grant to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence.

Rape Kit Backlog Issues Affect Local Police Departments

sexual assault kitsSTATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY – An advocacy group for rape victims released a disturbing new report surrounding untested rape kits.
Thousands of these kits are sitting in evidence rooms while victims wait. Wednesday, a Senate committee met to take a closer look at the problem in an effort to end the backlog.
Advocates said the backlog is proof police departments don’t take rape seriously. Police departments said there isn’t enough money to process all the kits and some go untested because the victims choose not to prosecute.

Madison-based scientists aim to bring home MIAs the military missed

Josh HymanA group of Madison-based scientists is forming a team to find the remains of long-lost World War II veterans and bring them home for proper burial.
If private fundraising goals are met, the Missing In Action Recovery and Identification Project would meld the skills of UW-Madison scholars of history, genetic analysis and archeology.

Veterans Remain Unidentified

POW MIARENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) — Thousands of families wait patiently for the federal government to deliver on a promise to “leave no man behind.” Tens of thousands of service members killed in WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam wars remain unidentified. That means some families have now waited for 70 years or more for closure and a proper burial. How can that be when taxpayers are shelling out $100 million dollars a year?

MH17 crash: Ukraine says search operation over

MH17The operation for the search and identification of people killed in the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region is over, Ukraine officially announced.

State’s new $30 million-plus crime lab ready

New Crime LabWith about 90,000 square feet, the new state Forensics Laboratory is tripled the size of the old Crime Lab off of Woodrow Wilson Drive in Jackson, which had about 26,000 square feet.

Dover DNA lab helps ID fallen WWII soldier

BeetheThe remains of another missing World War II service member have been identified – with the help of the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory at Dover Air Force Base.

Michael Fitz: US Special Operations Command Tests Devices for Rapid DNA Analysis

Blue Helix4The U.S. Special Operations Command has to test DNA scanners in an effort to reduce the time required to process genetic evidence from weeks to less than two hours and replace the use of fingerprint analysis in target confirmation, Defense News reported Wednesday.

New Dubai Police forensics lab stays one step ahead

Dubai Forensics LabDubai: Dubai Police’s new forensics laboratory being built at a cost of $100 million (Dh367.28 million) is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

New UW program could help reunite families with remains of MIA military members

Cpl. Robert ZieglerUPDATE (WKOW) — About 1,400 families in Wisconsin are among the tens of thousand across the country who never got closure after losing a loved one in World War II.

Mansion Fire: DNA on Pizza Crust Led Authorities to DC Murder Suspect, Sources Say

DNA and PizzaAuthorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence — but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect’s arrest.

A Congressional Blow to Science in Criminal Justice?

Budget cutsThe House subcommittee that oversees U.S. Justice Department spending has taken the unusual step of proposing to eliminate line-item budgets for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)–the department’s main research and statistics agencies.

US Special Operations Tests DNA Scanners

Buccal Swab  MilitaryTAMPA, Fla. — US special operations forces are using forward-deployed rapid DNA scanners on a limited basis to confirm targets. Troops have used DNA from improvised bomb components to capture “some very bad people,” according to an official with US Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
SOCOM is evaluating the devices for wider fielding. If successful, they have the potential to cut the time used to process DNA evidence from weeks to 90 minutes and replace fingerprint analysis downrange, according to Michael Fitz, SOCOM’s program manager for sensitive site exploitation.

Cold Case: Crime lab receives grant to help solve Cold Cases

touch DNAMERIDEN CT- In September of last year, the Department of Scientific Services, better known as the state crime lab received a National Institute of Justice grant. The two-year $172,000 grant was given specifically to help reduce the back log of Cold Cases.

$3 million goes to task force investigating untested Detroit rape kits

GATCDETROIT, MI – Government and police officials in Wayne County announced Tuesday that $3 million in state funds has been used to expand the Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force.