CODIS is the Combined DNA Index System which is an electronic database containing DNA profiles. CODIS contains local, state, and national databases of DNA profiles that include, but are not limited to, crime scene evidence and convicted offenders. This program allows state, local, and national crime labs to compare a DNA profile from a crime scene to a database of stored DNA profiles, which could result in the identification of a suspect.
In one particular case, a young woman was walking to work in the early hours of the morning along a dark road. She was attacked by a male perpetrator when she approached a wooded area. She was dragged behind the trees, beaten, raped, strangled, and left for dead. She was able to craw to the edge of the road where a passing motorist stopped to render aid. STR DNA testing was performed on the case evidence. The swabs from the victim’s sexual assault kit yielded an unknown male DNA profile, which was uploaded into CODIS. However, her case sat cold for 5 years.
Until, a suspect in an unrelated crime had his DNA profile entered into the CODIS database. His DNA profile matched the unknown male DNA profile from the crime scene that had been sitting in the database for 5 years. The victim, who thought that her case would never be solved, was finally able to face her attacker in a court of law. He was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.
This is the power of CODIS!