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Bill would expand DNA search parameters

November 12, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) at the 10th Annual Armenian Genocide Commemoration on April 25, 2011 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Schiff recently introduced a bill to make it easier for police departments to solve cold cases using DNA technology. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) at the 10th Annual Armenian…

A bill recently introduced by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) would make it easier for police departments to use DNA technology to solve cold cases.

Schiff pointed to last year's break in the 25-year-old so called “Grim Sleeper” serial murder case, where the Los Angeles Police Department used DNA from a suspect to conduct a check of California's DNA database to see if there were any leads within his family.

Investigators started focusing on, and eventually arrested, the suspect's father, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., after getting a DNA sample from him that resulted in a perfect match.

Fortunately, Franklin lived in California, Schiff said. If he had lived in another state, investigators might not have been able to conduct a familial check.

Schiff's bill would instruct the FBI to create a system through which a state could request a familial search of the national DNA database, expanding murder investigations that use DNA technology across state lines.

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