DNA profiling is a powerful tool used by law enforcement to help solve crimes. The CODIS
Section is responsible for generating DNA profiles for offenders requiring collection in accordance with state
statute. RSMo 650.055 requires the following individuals to provide a DNA sample:
- those who plead guilty or are found guilty of a felony offense or any offense under Chapter 566
- those seventeen or older who are arrested for burglary in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, or a felony offense under chapters 565, 566, 567, 568, or 573
- those determined to be a sexually violent predator
- individuals required to register as a sexual offender
DNA profiles generated from these samples will be entered into the CODIS (COmbined DNA Index System) database. The FBI Laboratory's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) blends forensic science and computer technology into an effective tool for solving violent crimes. CODIS enables federal, state, and local crime labs to exchange and compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking crimes to each other and to offenders. For more information on CODIS visit the FBI Laboratory's website.
CODIS generates investigative leads for crimes where biological evidence was recovered from the crime scene. DNA profiles from the crime scene samples are searched against profiles in the forensic (crime scene samples), convicted offenders, arrestee, and missing persons indices of CODIS. When two or more cases are matched together, the investigating officers are notified, which helps law enforcement agencies of multiple jurisdictions to coordinate their efforts and share leads. Matches between the forensic index and the offender indexes will provide investigators with the possible identity of the perpetrator of a crime. Associations with offenders have been particularly helpful in solving older crimes in which a suspect was never developed. Investigators ultimately decide whether to pursue the lead by obtaining a DNA standard from the individual and submitting it to the DNA casework section for comparison to the original evidence. As more profiles are entered into CODIS, investigators have an increased chance of finding a match between evidence and a possible suspect.
Profile obtained from blood left at scene of an assault.
Profile obtained from convicted offender and entered in CODIS. CODIS hit made between assault crime scene sample and convicted offender.
Currently the Department of Corrections, Division of Adult Institution (DAI), Division of Probation and Parole (P&P), Department of Mental Health, and arresting agencies are responsible for identifying who needs to be collected. The Missouri State Highway Patrol provides the sampling supplies to the designated agencies who perform the DNA collection. The sexually violent predators are collected by the Highway Patrol.
The all-felon DNA database collection expansion law went into effect on January 1, 2005. Not much time passed before the success of expanding the law from violent/sexual felonies to include all felons became apparent. Interestingly, of the 175 total database hits in 2005, 144 of the hits involved offenders who were collected for qualifying offenses due to the expansion of the law. As of the end of August, the total hits made in 2006 surpassed 500. Investigations aided due to CODIS associations range from stealing to homicides.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Convicted Offender Unit was awarded the 2006 Governors Award for Quality and Productivity. Because of the units ability to develop and implement successful approaches to maximize state resources and complete a service in a timely manner, they were honored by Governor Matt Blunt at a special ceremony and reception. The CODIS Section is able to upload on average 6,000 profiles monthly.
The collection of DNA samples upon certain qualified arrests and from registering sex offenders began August 28, 2009. The CODIS Section anticipates this expansion of the database will be even more helpful to law enforcement.