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The Washington Post: Rapid DNA & the Utah AG’s Office

December 14, 2018

The Utah Attorney General’s Office was highlighted in The Washington Post for launching Rapid DNA, a new DNA testing technology that can analyze evidence samples and provide results to law enforcement in less than two hours.

Here is an excerpt of The Washington Post article where they interview Special Agent Nate Mutter, of the Utah AG’s Investigation Division:

The Utah attorney general’s office has two ANDE 6C machines, and “we’re extremely excited with the results we’ve gotten,” said Nate Mutter, the office’s assistant chief of investigations. He said many of the cases brought to him by counties around the state are gun cases in which investigators are trying to match DNA on a discarded gun with a known suspect. A burglar in Cache County, Utah, who left DNA on a soda can on Sept. 19 was identified, arrested and convicted by Oct. 17 — about the same amount of time a conventional DNA test alone would have taken.

“We’re not fishing for an unknown here,” Mutter said. “This is an investigative tool to make the link between suspects and items of evidence. Just because we can’t load the information into CODIS doesn’t mean the technology can’t be used to assist us.” He said the portability of the machines was a bonus. “You can bring it anywhere, and it still gives you lab-quality results,” Mutter said.

The article did not mention one component that the AG’s Office believes is critical in using Rapid DNA testing. In cases where there may be mixed DNA or a small sample size we have retained Sorenson Forensics, a private third-party company, to review and verify our test results. This is no different than what would happen if any state crime lab tested the same evidence. They are able to provide results in a week or less, which is still far quicker than the typical process. 

You can read the entire article at The Washington Post: FBI plans ‘Rapid DNA’ network for quick database checks on arrestees

 

 

Photo by Hans Reniers

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