Chief David Moore credits hard-nosed police work and DNA testing for the high number of cold cases closed this year. “Every once in a while we have technology come along to advance what we need to do to put someone in prison and hold them accountable. In this case it's DNA,” said Chief Moore.
Technicians with the Monroe County Crime Lab conducted the DNA tests that help police and prosecutors bring those 16 criminals to justice.
“In May and June we were able to close a 1985 homicide, a 1996 homicide Steady Spears was just arrested and arraigned in front of Judge Valentino for a 1996 homicide, another cold case from 1993, and again now Mr. Pressler,” said Assistant Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
Nancy Scibetta, Assistant Director of the Monroe County Crime Lab says DNA has been critical in cracking many cases. “It’s been extremely important. Some say it’s been the most important tool for criminal justice in this century,” said Scibetta.
Despite the cold cases that are now headed to trial thanks to DNA testing, Monroe County District Attorney Mike Green isn't stopping to celebrate. He says if anything these 16 cases represent the “tip of the iceberg”. “If we were to put every convicted criminals DNA in the data base, if we were to build a crime lab that was sufficient for the needs of this community, and if we were to staff the lab with the number of staff that we needed, I think that the potential is really limitless as to what could be done with DNA evidence,” added Green.