St. Johns County Sheriff David B. Shoar announced to local Historic City News reporters in St. Augustine, that his office was recently awarded a “Solving Cold Cases with DNA” grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Local detectives assigned to the Robbery Homicide Unit identified more than 30 unsolved cases of missing or murdered victims that occurred over the past three decades, so they pursued the grant.
Since the inception of the Cold Case initiative, Sheriff’s Office detectives, in partnership with the Office of the State Attorney, Homicide Investigative Unit, have cleared five previously unresolved homicides.
“It is my hope that our investigators can give closure to the families and friends of murder victims of these older cases,” Shoar said today. “Earlier this week, we began laboratory submissions of DNA evidence in other unsolved homicide cases.”
The grant, which provides funding in excess of $200,000, is awarded through the National Institute of Justice.
The grant provides funding for DNA processing, comparison, and supplies detectives and crime scene technicians with critical equipment and training as it pertains to DNA identification and collection.
Part of the funds will be used to equip the Sheriff’s Office Evidence Building with a state-of-the-art DNA processing room.
A majority of the funding allows for DNA processing through private laboratories.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer