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Van Pelt demands answers, seeks ways to end the backlog in murder DNA processing

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CHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) demanded answers and sought solutions to the state crime lab’s backlog of DNA from nearly 700 murder cases during a Senate Public Health and Criminal Law committee hearing this afternoon.

 

“The backlog in murder DNA processing at the state crime lab is unacceptable,” Van Pelt said. “Technology exists to test DNA in under two hours, yet DNA from nearly 700 murder cases from the past few years is still backlogged. Law enforcement needs to be taking advantage of this technology. There are 700 families waiting for answers. They deserve closure.”

The committee heard from family members of victims who have been impacted by the backlog; representatives from the Illinois State Police; representatives from ANDE, a Colorado-based rapid DNA processing firm; and a representative from the Murder Accountability Project, a non-profit organization that tracks unsolved homicides.

“When I first learned about this last year, I promised to do whatever it takes to end this backlog and make sure families of murder victims get justice,” Van Pelt said. “I will continue doing everything I can to hold the state police accountable and make sure they end this backlog in a transparent and timely manner.”