The State Bureau of Investigation is bringing new and old minds together to re-examine unsolved murder cases in an effort to solve some of them, the agency said Friday.
The old minds come in the form of 10 retired SBI agents who were homicide investigators when they were on duty.
The new minds come in the form of law students.
The SBI will contract with the individuals to look at cases in which there might be biological evidence such as fingerprints or DNA that was not analyzed at the time or could be re-analyzed with technology that was not available then.
The agents and students also will help police track down evidence that might be hard to locate now and help them get search warrants or court orders if they are needed to do new tests.
Funding for the contracts comes from the Governor’s Crime Commission, which initially supported the project in 2015 and renewed the grant this year.
In a statement, the SBI’s attorney, Angel Gray, said, “Retesting evidence using the latest DNA or forensic technology may yield new information that could result in arrests. The lack of evidence to convict a suspect is one of the most common reasons that cases remain unsolved.”
Another aspect of the work will be comparing DNA profiles to state and federal databases, especially looking at people whose samples have been added since the crimes because they have been arrested on other charges.
Not all the work is technical, the SBI said.
The investigators and law students will be looking for leads that may not have been pursued at the time the crime were first investigated, and they will help local police track down those and set up interviews if the review turns up witnesses who could be helpful.
The investigators and students will be assigned to each of the SBI’s 10 regional offices, Gray said.
She encouraged police investigators to contact the SBI if they have a case that has been unsolved and that they think might get a new life from re-examination.