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More than 100 DNA swabs linked to convicted criminals mistakenly destroyed by SPD

(KIRO 7 TV)

The Seattle Police Department is asking the Office of the Inspector General to review policies and procedures after the department discovered the SPD evidence warehouse staff mistakenly destroyed 107 DNA swabs associated with misdemeanor criminals.

In 2016, KIRO 7 first reported the problem of the DNA not being tested – and most of those cases involved criminals in sexually motivated crimes.

Police said the remaining 548 DNA swabs have been turned over to the City Attorney’s Office and will be delivered Thursday morning to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

Seattle police said there were no open criminal cases related to the destroyed samples.

But that can’t be said definitively.

While investigators don’t know of any open cases, it’s unknown if any of those destroyed samples would have matched DNA in an international criminal database of unsolved cases. The samples were supposed to be tested for DNA matches in that database.

The swabs were held for safekeeping in the SPD evidence warehouse pending acceptance by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

In August 2016, KIRO 7 uncovered that DNA that could link criminals to hundreds of unsolved crimes had gone untested for years in Seattle.

Last month, a new state law allowed for the DNA to be tested, three years after lawmakers promised to take action.

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