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Governor marks DNA milestone

dnaThe Virginia Department of Forensic Science has obtained its 5,000th hit to Virginia’s Offender DNA Databank, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

A “hit” occurs when a DNA profile developed from any biological fluid, tissue, or hair recovered from a crime scene is matched to a DNA profile from an individual or a forensic case in the Commonwealth’s DNA databank.

The 5,000th hit involved evidence retrieved from an April 2008 burglary in Northern Virginia. The offender sample for the hit was submitted to the databank in the mid-1990s, and came from a female with several prior burglary and larceny convictions, according to the governor’s office.

Under Virginia law, all convicted felons must submit a DNA sample for the database. Since 2003, all individuals arrested for a violent felony after a finding of probable cause must also submit a sample. The number of distinct samples in Virginia’s DNA databank now exceeds 277,000.

“The more people included in the databank, the more chances a criminal case can be resolved,” DFS Director Pete Marone said. “In the end, it is also important to note that the databank not only helps us identify perpetrators but also exclude the innocent.”

By Peter Vieth

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