Law enforcement explains taking DNA swabs from victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement explains taking DNA swabs from victims

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Bombings kills 13 in Iraq

    Bombings kills 13 in Iraq

    Bombings kills 13 in Iraq

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 16:00:13 GMT
     Iraqi forces are battling suicide bombers and brutal Islamic State terrorists in Iraq. (Source: CNN) Iraqi forces are battling suicide bombers and brutal Islamic State terrorists in Iraq. (Source: CNN)
    Two bombings targeting the Iraqi military killed 13 people, including six soldiers, south of Baghdad on Saturday.More >>
    Two bombings targeting the Iraqi military killed 13 people, including six soldiers, south of Baghdad on Saturday.More >>
  • Camilla police investigating Friday night shooting

    Camilla police investigating Friday night shooting

    Camilla police investigating Friday night shooting

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-08-30 15:33:35 GMT
    (Source:MGN Online)(Source:MGN Online)
    Camilla police are investigating a shooting that happened Friday night.More >>
    Camilla police are investigating a shooting that happened Friday night.More >>
  • Liberian Ebola survivor praises experimental drug

    Liberian Ebola survivor praises experimental drug

    Liberian Ebola survivor praises experimental drug

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-08-30 15:00:11 GMT
    Healthcare workers help treat Liberians in an effort to combat an outbreak of Ebola. (Source: CNN)Healthcare workers help treat Liberians in an effort to combat an outbreak of Ebola. (Source: CNN)
    A Liberian health worker who recovered from Ebola after receiving an experimental drug urged the manufacturer to speed up its production.More >>
    A Liberian health worker who recovered from Ebola after receiving an experimental drug urged the manufacturer to speed up its production.More >>
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

State police explained why DNA swabs are sometimes taken from the victims of crimes.  That comes after a Prairieville woman was upset her husband was swabbed after his car was broken into. Authorities say taking DNA samples of victims of a crime scene can protect them.

Forensic scientist said a victim's genetic information could be all over the crime scene. 

"We need a sample from those individuals so that we can remove the profile we get from that and try to deduce what the unknown perpetrator profile is," said Joanie Brocato DNA manager at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

By taking the victim's DNA, police can exclude it, and try to figure out which DNA belongs to the thief. That prevents a victim's genetic information from going into a database called Codis.

"The database here in Louisiana has approximately 500,000 samples of DNA profiles that belong to arrestees, convicted offenders, and other samples of other crime scenes," said Brocato.

She said a victim's genetic information, is kept in a secure location in the lab. If a case does develop those samples can be critical pieces of evidence. She also said DNA sampling has changed how fast an investigation can go, and assures law abiding citizens they should not be afraid. 

"If we don't have those samples it will make the DNA process very complex and really hinder many of the cases that get solved very quickly," said Brocato.

Authorities say victims can elect not to give a DNA sample, it is voluntary.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.