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12-253 Sheriff’s Office Awarded $214,000 DNA Grant For Cold Case Investigations

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Robbery/Homicide Unit
Grants Administration

What:
The Sheriff’s Office was awarded a $214,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice  to assist in the investigation of cold cases with a DNA link.

When:
The funding was recently awarded and is currently in the process of being integrated and implemented by homicide investigators.

Where:
The grant funding was awarded to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Why/How:
The grant will be used to assist detectives in an attempt to shed new light on unsolved cases with a DNA evidence link.

Investigators will begin by reviewing all eligible Sheriff’s Office cold cases dating back to 1955 through 2009 – 37 cases in all. Detectives will then take the appropriate action to either resubmit DNA evidence for testing and compare it to existing DNA databases, all while taking advantage of the new advances in DNA technology.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said he was excited to receive the grant funding and pleased about how it will help further cold case investigations, “It will not just be about justice and holding someone accountable; but for the families, and giving them closure,” he added.

The funding will be used primarily to defray personnel costs, labs and other investigation techniques as dictated by the case. The work will be done by approximately nine detectives assigned to Robbery/Homicide unit and others familiar with the cases.

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