DENVER (CBS4)– Police in Denver have more resources to help solve cold cases. The National Institute of Justice has given the Denver Police Department, Denver Crime Lab and Denver District Attorney’s Office a $500,000 grant to focus on violent cold cases.
The Crime Lab actually applied for the grant, saying it would be for DNA testing and other forensic technology.READ MORE: FAA Investigates Mid-Air Collision Between 2 Small Planes Above Cherry Creek Reservoir South Of Denver
“The funding will be shared, as I mentioned, among the three of us, the Denver DA’s Office, Denver police and the Denver Crime Lab, so that we may proceed on solving hundreds of homicide and sexual assault cases for which a suspect has been identified, but in which prosecutors have not yet been able to file charges,” said District Attorney Beth McCann.
She said they already have 72 cases from 1970 to 2016 that will be top priority.READ MORE: Punch Bowl Social Reopens South Broadway Location In Denver
Since 2004, the Cold Case Project has revisited more than 1,100 cases and found DNA matches in nearly half of them. As a result, 130 cases have been filed.
“This will really complete it,” said Dr. Gregory LeBerge, Director of the Denver Crime Lab. “You’re talking about 72 cases of homicide and sexual assault, violent crimes and we anticipate in the next three years to not have any cold cases anymore.”
The grant will allow the Denver Crime Lab and Denver Police to pay for the overtime of forensic scientists and officers following up on cases. The Denver District Attorney’s Office will add a deputy to its existing Cold Case unit.MORE NEWS: Semi Carrying Lemons Bursts Into Flames Causing Backups, Delays On EB I-70 Near Colorado Mills Parkway
This is the third grant Denver has received from the NIJ, totaling $1 million to help solve cold cases.