OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on Thursday announced it had identified a total of 387 sex, kidnapping and homicide offenders who owed the state their DNA profiles after being convicted of violent crimes.
Of the 387 identified by the AGO, 102 have already been tracked down and had their DNA profile taken. That includes:
- 5 profiles from individuals convicted of homicide.
- 10 profiles from individuals convicted of kidnapping.
- 88 profiles from convicted sex offenders.
The announcement is part of an ongoing effort from Attorney General Bob Ferguson to collect DNA profiles from offenders, with the intention of using DNA to resolve unsolved cases in Washington. An earlier project collected DNA from 372 registered sex offenders, this project only included convicted sex offenders who were not required to register.
Ferguson’s DNA project could take some time to complete, as his office estimates there are thousands of convicted violent offenders in Washington who were required to submit their DNA as part of their sentencing, but who failed to do so. By collecting that owed DNA, the AGO says it hopes to find leads on other unsolved cases.
“DNA helps solve cold cases and can exonerate individuals wrongfully convicted,” Ferguson said. “Out of respect to victims and survivors of crimes, and for the rule of law, this work must be done.”
Though Washington state requires anyone convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses to submit their DNA profiles, there is no codified, statewide process for collecting that DNA, and often offenders manage to slip through the cracks. DNA collected by the program is entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a nationwide DNA database, where it can be cross-referenced against DNA samples taken from crime scenes. In the AGO’s last DNA collection effort, DNA collected by the AGO matched DNA collected from three unsolved sex offenses in Washington.
>> Learn more about the DNA collection efforts from the Attorney General’s website.
Source: Bellevue Patch