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Best Practices for Handling “Cold Hits”

Closing the Loop

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Too often, laboratory personnel hear nothing after notifying an investigating agency of a cold hit. Analysts are invested in the case through their time and effort, and they are interested in the outcome of any case as it pertains to the working of the criminal justice system. By notifying the laboratory of the final resolution of a cold hit, a dual purpose is served: analysts are able to conserve resources, knowing that a case is finished; and data on convictions can be gathered. Laboratory personnel are a critical, if sometimes overlooked, partner in the criminal justice process.

Read more about a cold case solved with DNA »

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