DNA testing

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office plans to use open source genealogical databases to help identify “stranger rapists” — people who’ve been indicted as John Does for sexual assault but haven’t been identified.

The prosecutor’s office indicts the DNA profile collected from a rape kit to ensure the statute of limitations doesn’t expire. 

There are more than 130 open rape cases in Cuyahoga County and prosecutors plan to start tackling them by trying to identify the assailants with help from DNA-based genealogy databases, said Special Investigations Chief Rick Bell.

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A photo of Brian Howe, Noling's lawyer.
OHIO SUPREME COURT

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a man on death row who claims he was wrongfully convicted should be given the complete DNA profile from a cigarette butt found at the scene of the crime.

Tyrone Noling was sentenced to death in 1996 for killing Bearnhardt and Cora Hartig  in Portage County. Noling has maintained his innocence all along.

photo of Justin Christian
CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTORS OFFICE

Police have arrested a suspect in the kidnapping and attempted abduction of two Northeast Ohio girls this year, an arrest that began with a new technology used by the state crime lab to  help identify 29-year-old Justin Christian.

City and county law enforcement had exhausted all of their leads in the case when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine agreed to try software the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation had never used on an active case before -- “familial DNA search.”

photo of Mike DeWine
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio is going to be using some new technology to help solve missing persons cases. 

Attorney General Mike DeWine says sometimes, when bodies are discovered, they have decayed so much that it is hard to get usable DNA for identification purposes. But he says scientists at the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation are working with new technology that will change that.