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Hahira PD hopes new DNA collecting system will help solve crimes across the region

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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HAHIRA, Ga. (WALB) - The Hahira Police Department is providing the region with a new tool to help find forensic evidence in crime scenes.

The M-Vac system will allow for DNA to be collected much faster from just about anything.

Lt. Todd Pitchford with the Hahira Police department says the M-Vac system is going to be a game-changer for the region.

The M-Vac system will allow for DNA to be collected much faster from just about anything.
The M-Vac system will allow for DNA to be collected much faster from just about anything.(WALB)

“We’re going to use it as a regional tool that other departments can send samples or bring samples to us. We can extract the DNA and give them the filter that has the DNA evidence on it for them to submit to their labs,” said Pitchford.

Traditionally, investigators have to swab for evidence, which can be a challenge.

President of M-Vac Systems Jared Bradley describes it as a medical-grade carpet cleaner. It sprays a sterile solution and vacuums up the DNA.

“Someone barely touches a victim sleeve, we can normally vacuum that sleeve and get that perpetrator’s DNA,” said Bradley.

It can get biological fluids, saliva, blood and even touch DNA, where skin cells may be found.

“And that’s what it’s all about, helping law enforcement solve crime,” said Bradley.

It can get biological fluids, saliva, blood and even touch DNA, where skin cells may be found.
It can get biological fluids, saliva, blood and even touch DNA, where skin cells may be found.(WALB)

The system helps solve not only active cases but cold ones as well.

The oldest case the M-Vac systems were able to help solve was a 56-year-old murder case in New York.

Pitchford hopes it can make an impact in South Georgia.

“It’s going to help keep bad guys off the street. They’ve used this machine in cases that have been 20 years old where they had a piece of evidence sitting in evidence for 20 years. But because of this system, they were able to go back, collect the offender DNA from a rock and prosecute him and the guy is in prison now for a murder in Utah,” said Pitchford.

The system was funded by Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to rescue victims of human and sex trafficking.

The Hahira Police Department has been training this week, and now, they’re ready to use it whenever it’s needed.

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