As of May, about 7,200 of more than 9,600 untested kits had been analyzed, according to DeWine’s office. The result: nearly 2,700 “hits” or matches in CODIS, or the Combined DNA Index System, a national law enforcement database of DNA profiles.
So far, nearly 3,800 of the 4,800 kits submitted from law enforcement agencies in Cuyahoga County have been tested. About half have yielded matches in CODIS, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The “hit” letters are the starting point for investigators who make house calls, scour phone records, track Social Security checks, contact family members and go wherever necessary — West Virginia, Florida, California — in search of survivors and suspects.
In time, McGinty’s office plans to indict 1,000 rape suspects. As of late May, more than 300 men have been charged, resulting in 79 convictions and guilty pleas and seven acquittals. The accused include “John Does,” unknown men who are identified by their DNA in their indictments to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring.
Like many other cities with backlogs, authorities say money and technology contributed to the mess. Early on, testing kits cost up to $1,500 to $2,000 each. It’s now about $435 in Ohio. And DNA wasn’t used widely until the mid to late 1990s.