Kitsap County submits nine DNA cases for analysis

"Kitsap County Sheriff's detectives have pinpointed nine sexual assault cases, rendered cold for lack of viable suspect information, to submit to the Washington State Patrol crime lab for DNA analysis.Kitsap detectives hope state analysis of DNA evidence garnered while investigating these alleged crimes can finally produce a suspect.Once submitted to the WSP crime lab, technicians can cross-check DNA information from the assault cases with the thousands of DNA samples taken from felons throughout the state convicted of violent crimes.We've identified the local cases that could benefit from DNA testing, but we're going to wait for about one month before submitting most of them to the Washington State Patrol. There's a backlog right now, said Mike Davis, chief of detectives for the Sheriff's Office. There's so much demand right now for testing.Kitsap County Sheriff's detectives found a total of nine sexual assault cases, seven of which will be held back for about a month. Officials say that, out of necessity, the WSP and technicians have established a specific set of criteria to determine which unsolved cases will be analyzed first, second, third and so on. Otherwise, the crime lab would be more than overwhelmed with requests from across the state.Davis said the other two unsolved sexual assault cases can be forwarded immediately to the crime lab and looked at sooner because they fall within the high-priority parameters outlined by the state.Though both sexual assault cases occurred this spring in Kitsap, they are unrelated.This last May, a woman was attacked while jogging in the evening hours along Old Military Road in Central Kitsap. An unknown white male suspect pushed her into the woods and sexually assaulted her, said Davis. The suspect is described as being a heavyset man with facial hair. He smelled of alcohol, wore blue jeans and cowboy-style boots with rounded toes.A second female victim was yanked from her car by an unknown white male and sexually assaulted on Beach Drive in South Kitsap this past April. She had pulled off the side of the road sometime after midnight to find her cell phone. That's when the attack occurred. The suspect is described as a six-foot-tall man in his 20s with a slim, muscular build. He has brown eyes and was wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans and a red baseball hat with a bird symbol.According to Davis, the remaining seven sexual assault cases involve alcohol or drugs and a party setting, at which the victim fell asleep or was unconscious and was sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect.For all the cases, Kitsap detectives want to identify a suspect and, hopefully, ensure closure for all involved.There's so much going on with DNA technology these days, said Davis. The process has been revolutionized.Davis and other detectives just hope the revolution will come there way as well. They have every reason to believe it will.Since WSP crime lab techs finished up a year-long effort during which they collected thousands of DNA samples from convicted felons, investigators from throughout the state have identified suspects for 16 crimes, including sexual assaults and homicides.Shortly after Ronal Serpas assumed his post as Chief of the WSP, he announced that a $1.3 million federal grant allowed WSP crime lab technicians over the last year to clear up a back log of DNA testing requirements among thousands of felons across the state.Under Washington State law, felons convicted of violent crimes including sexual-assault crimes, are required to have samples of their DNA analyzed and placed in the FBI's national database. DNA evidence taken from unsolved crimes can be compared to the samples and profiles of known offenders, which are available at the national level.That's an ideal situation, but until WSP lab technicians used the federal grant, about 30,000 convicted felons still awaited the required testing. "

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