Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2002

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

The FBI Laboratory today lauded state and local laboratories unprecedented success in linking serial violent crimes by registering more than 80 matches against the FBI’s National DNA Index System (NDIS) last month. Additionally, the FBI’s federal convicted offender program recorded its first NDIS match during the final week in August. The federal match was between the federal convicted offender database and a DNA profile from a case involving a sexual assault of a juvenile in Tampa, Florida contributed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Two weeks later, as a result of this match, an arrest was made in this case.

The final week of August was one of the most successful weeks ever in the four years that NDIS has been operational. During that week, 33 matches were made, 17 by Oklahoma in that state’s first upload of DNA profiles into NDIS. To illustrate the power and reach of NDIS, Oklahoma’s DNA matches were made with cases in the FBI Laboratory, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, California, Arizona, and Maine. Examples of other matches included the FBI Laboratory matching a profile from New York; and Virginia posting matches with Washington state and Oregon.

Of the 33 matches made in the last week of August, 24 matched convicted offender DNA profiles already contained in the national database with DNA profiles from unknown individuals obtained at crime scenes or from rape kits, thus solving these previously unsolved cases. Two of these matches resulted in the arrest in Pennsylvania of the perpetrator of two rapes. The other nine matches involved connecting together previously unrelated crime scenes.

The FBI implemented NDIS in October, 1998 to allow state laboratories the ability to electronically compare and exchange DNA profiles with one another in an effort to link serial violent offenses. Today 44 states, the FBI and U.S. Army Lab participate in the NDIS program. NDIS contains nearly 1.4 million offender DNA samples and 47,000 DNA profiles developed from crime scenes and rape kits. In the four years of NDIS, there have been approximately 5,000 DNA profile matches across 36 states and the District of Columbia. In December, 2000 legislation was passed which authorized collection and inclusion of DNA samples of certain federal offenders into NDIS. Full implementation of the federal convicted offender program began in July, 2002. In only the second upload of federal data, the first federal match was made.