CHICAGO (CBS) — More than 750 murder cases await DNA testing in Chicago right now.
Technology exists to get a potential suspect’s DNA profile in less than two hours. So why is it not in use in Illinois to cut down on the backlog? CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has the story you’ll only see on CBS 2.
“They could have found who did this to my son. They have a mask for the DNA,” said Reginice McBride. On November 5th of 2017 McBride said her son Ronald was shot to death during a robbery in the West Loop.
Since that time, McBride said she’s been waiting for DNA testing in her son’s case.
“It’s unfair to me and not only to me, but all the other mothers who’s waiting for an answer about the death of their loved one,” McBride said.
McBride reached out to Illinois State Senator Patricia Van Pelt regarding the DNA backlog when the senator had a hearing on the issue in December. McBride learned there were more than 750 murder cases awaiting DNA testing in Chicago since 2014. The total DNA backlog for other crimes is around 13,000.
The average age of each DNA case: 208 days. Statewide.
“We deserve closure on these murders,” Van Pelt said. She learned about ANDE Corporation based in Colorado after her December hearing. The company uses instruments developed with the military, creating a DNA fingerprint in less than two hours which can be entered into databases to find a match.
A spokesperson for the company said it has been in touch with state officials, among them law enforcement and lawmakers, about providing their services free of charge to help with the backlog.
McBride’s reaction was that of frustration.
“When I hear that, I’m angry. Why have something and not use it?”
Illinois State Police say ANDE DNA cannot be used for DNA collected at a crime scene. An ISP spokesperson said rapid DNA testing must be more developed and is in limited use in five states. ANDE said its technology is the only one approved by the FBI.
Acting director of the Illinois State Police Brendan Kelly admitted turnaround time must get better and he’s looking at how other states have reduced backlog.
Three days ago he said he appointed a forensic scientist to oversee testing, launched a new website to help sex assault survivors track their cases and there’s new software that will show real-time data for law enforcement prosecutors and scientists.