CODIS helps investigators solve many crimes -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

CODIS helps investigators solve many crimes

Laboratory Manager Ross Butler Laboratory Manager Ross Butler

Investigators are able to solve crimes at a much faster rate thanks to a DNA database called Codis.

In Georgia, more than 3,500 cases have now been solved, some dating back nearly 30 years.

Everyone has a unique DNA profile, and those who commit felony crimes are required to give a DNA sample that's kept in a nationwide database; the Combined DNA Index System. CODIS for short.

" Now if a biological sample is obtained from a crime scene it can be entered into the CODIS system and if that person's or the suspect, if the subject is known or not known, if their DNA profile is already in the system then there's a immediate match," says Lab Manager Ross Butler.

At the Moultrie GBI crime lab, they process several samples a month. CODIS started as a system for sex offenders, but because of its success state law makers expanded guidelines to include felony offenders in prison, and eventually to those on felony probation.

"We've been able to solve cold cases that are 20 and 25 years old," says Butler.

The CODIS system allowed involved investigators to solve a burglary case right here in Moultrie. They were able to identify a suspect who had left drops of blood at the scene.

"In proximity to the cash register officers observed a few drops of blood so they were able to swab the blood and submitt it to the lab," he says.

Laboratory Manager Ross Butler says this system has been instrumental in solving hundreds of rape, murder and armed robbery cases. Especially in instances where a person committed multiple crimes, and not been caught.

"It has made solving those crimes much more realistic if a person's profile is already in the system," says Butler. 

He says while the system may not slow crime down, it ensures cases are solved at a much faster rate. In Georgia, there are 280,000 DNA profiles in the system.


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