Latest Forensics News

Virginia eliminates huge backlog of untested rape kits

Jul. 8, 2020 3:21 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia has eliminated a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits, becoming only the seventh state in the country to do so, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Wednesday. Herring said the project to test rape kits — some decades old — began in 2015. Since then,...

Juan Cruz, boyfriend of Army soldier Vanessa Guillén, kneels in front of a mural honoring her Sunday, July 5, 2020, in Houston. Army investigators have identified the body of a soldier who vanished more than two months ago from a base in Texas, according to a lawyer for the soldier's family. Remains found last week buried near Fort Hood belong to Guillén and Army officials informed her family in Houston Sunday, attorney Natalie Khawam told The Associated Press. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Army identifies buried remains as missing Texas soldier

Jul. 6, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An Army commander confirmed Monday that dismembered remains found last week buried near Fort Hood belonged to a 20-year-old soldier who vanished more than two months ago from the Texas base. Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, Fort Hood's senior commander, said during a news conference that the...

People visit a mass grave for the victims of the Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq on Thursday, July 1, 2020. A human skull, a pair of worn trousers and a shoe were among the remains unearthed from a mass grave discovered this week in northern Iraq, a remnant of the brutal rule of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)

New mass grave unearthed in Iraq's north from brutal IS rule

Jul. 2, 2020 12:42 PM EDT

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — A human skull, a pair of worn trousers and a shoe were among the remains unearthed from a mass grave discovered this week in northern Iraq, a remnant of the brutal rule of the Islamic State group, Iraqi officials said Thursday. The new mass grave was discovered on Monday in the village...

Janet Johnson of Pawcatuck, Ct., front, speaks at a news conference while her husband, Norman, looks on after the sentencing hearing Wednesday, July 1, 2020, for James Curtis Clanton in the death of Helene Pruszynski, Janet Johnson's younger sister, four decades ago in Castle Rock, Colo. Clanton has been sentenced to life in prison. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Man sentenced to life in 1980 killing of Colorado intern

Jul. 1, 2020 5:44 PM EDT

A Florida man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for killing a college student from Massachusetts who was working as a Denver radio station intern 40 years ago, a case solved with the help of DNA profiles shared by relatives online. James Curtis Clanton, 63, a truck driver from Lake Butler, Florida, was...

Denmark to review court cases because of possible DNA flaw

Jun. 29, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Some 3,450 criminal cases where a court ruling was chiefly based on DNA evidence will be reviewed, Denmark’s top prosecutor said Monday after a retest showed that a person convicted of burglarly likely was innocent. “We are protectively looking if to see if there...

RI Supreme Court allows use of forcibly collected DNA

Jun. 18, 2020 5:48 PM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that DNA collected by pepper spraying a man who's accused of murder can be used in court, striking down a Superior Court judge's ruling. In a 4-to-1 decision, the state Supreme Court ordered the Superior Court to allow the evidence in a...

DNA leads to arrest in long-ago California rape cases

Jun. 17, 2020 5:03 PM EDT

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A man arrested in Arizona was charged Wednesday with committing a series of Southern California rapes and other crimes at gunpoint or knifepoint as long ago as 1996. Cold case investigators used DNA evidence to identify Darin Edward Cooke, 50, as the suspect, Riverside County...

CORRECTS THE EXECUTION DATE TO JUNE 16, NOT 15 - This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Ruben Gutierrez. Texas was set on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, to end its more than four-month delay in executions due to the coronavirus pandemic with the scheduled lethal injection of Gutierrez, a death row inmate condemned for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than two decades ago. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

US Supreme Court halts Texas execution over clergy question

Jun. 16, 2020 7:08 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court granted a reprieve Tuesday to a Texas inmate scheduled to die for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than two decades ago, continuing a more than four-month delay of executions in the nation’s busiest death penalty state during the coronavirus pandemic....

FILE - This undated file photo provided by Christopher Harris shows George Floyd.  Video recorded by a bystander showed the world Floyd’s horrifying last minutes. But footage recorded by body cameras that officers wore as they were apprehending Floyd could show even more about what the officers were doing and saying during that fateful encounter.  (Christopher Harris via AP, File)

Body camera video could offer more detail in Floyd encounter

Jun. 13, 2020 10:48 AM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Video recorded by a bystander showed the world George Floyd’s horrifying last minutes, capturing his cries and pleas for air as a Minneapolis officer used his knee to pin down Floyd's neck. But the footage recorded by body cameras that officers wore on their chests as they were...

2 men say hospital switched them at birth 80 years ago

Jun. 9, 2020 1:43 PM EDT

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (AP) — Two men who believe they were switched at birth nearly 80 years ago are suing a Roman Catholic diocese in West Virginia, alleging negligence and breach of duty by the hospital where they were born. John William Carr III and Jackie Lee Spencer were born Aug. 29, 1942, at St. Joseph...