CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is buying a new $18,000 DNA testing system that they hope will provide answers in the unsolved 2009 murder of 23-year-old Andrew Graham.
“The fact is it’s cutting edge technology and holds promise for Andrew’s case and many others — not only for Andrew Graham’s murder, but that will be the first case it will be utilized on, I can tell you that,” said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
Graham was gunned down and his body was found on Nov. 6, 2009. He had been walking home from an RTD light rail station to his Arapahoe County home. Investigators believe he was the victim of a racially motivated robbery.
No one has ever been arrested in the case although CBS4 has previously reported that police have identified three suspects who they believe were involved in the Graham killing. A grand jury looked into the case in 2011 and issued a report saying statements from suspects and others who know the suspects “have changed, been recanted, conflict with objective physical evidence.” The grand jury was unable to charge anyone in relation to the Graham murder.
“We are not giving up,” Robinson said.
CBS4 learned Robinson’s office has contracted to buy a DNA vacuuming recovery system manufactured by the M-Vac Systems that can retrieve DNA samples from all types of surfaces. Sirchie reports “this method of retrieval has been proven, through independent studies, to capture significantly more DNA than traditional swabbing methods on porous surfaces.”
Robinson told CBS4, “We are hopeful that applying this new equipment and new technology will have some benefit to our case.”
Robinson declined to disclose the results of previous DNA testing related to the Graham murder case.
Graham’s mother, Cyndi Gelston-Graham, said she is hopeful the new DNA testing technology will help investigators establish which suspects were or were not present when her son was killed.
“And so this DNA would back up the stories they know are true so they can take them to court on that,” she said. “It will verify certain elements of the case.”
Four years after her son’s murder, Gelston-Graham says she holds out hope her son’s killers will be brought to justice.
“They will pay the price for this. Maybe not now, but later,” she said.
She said she remains angry at the parents of the three suspects who she believes have not held their offspring accountable.
“To allow them to lie teaches them and reinforces bad behavior,” said Gelston- Graham.
Robinson said the Graham murder is what prompted him to sign off on the new DNA machine.
“We are not going to allow this case to go by the wayside,” said Robinson.
– Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com