RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s office said in a release Wednesday that the state’s crime lab set a record for DNA hits.
The North Carolina State Crime Laboratory achieved 1,029 hits to people and other cases in CODIS, which the attorney general’s office describes as “the system of local, state, and national criminal justice DNA databases.”
In the fiscal year 2020-2021, the lab’s 1,029 hits was the first time more than 1,000 hits were recorded — and it represented a nearly 14-percent increase from the 905 hits last fiscal year, the release said.
In May, Stein announced that over half of the untested sexual assault kits recently accounted for in law enforcement evidence lockers across the state had been tested or were awaiting testing at private labs.
Stein and Republican lawmakers held a news conference in May to provide an update on the state’s efforts to test more than 16,000 older kits.
At the time, Stein said that nearly 3,000 of those kits had so far led to evidence that resulted in at least 40 arrests.
Stein released a statement Wednesday addressing the record number of DNA hits.
“Every time scientists at the Lab test evidence that leads to a hit in the DNA database, we’re able to give law enforcement powerful, new information to move cases forward and solve crimes. I’m grateful to my colleagues at the Lab and law enforcement officers across North Carolina for their work to get justice for victims and survivors and to make our communities safer.
“Continuing to swiftly test evidence, including the older sexual assault kits in local law enforcement custody, is key to keeping North Carolina families safe. We will continue to do everything in our power to help law enforcement close cases, get violent offenders off the street, and do right by survivors. We owe these brave survivors who have come forward nothing less.”
— The Associated Press contributed to this report