Idaho State Police DNA lab closing backlog in processing

Idaho State Police DNA lab closing backlog in processing
MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) -- The Idaho State Police DNA lab is expected to finish off its backlog of samples by July.

The timing is important because on July First, Idaho law will require all convicted felons to submit a DNA sample for the national database.

"Before that we only required samples from individuals convicted of certain felony crimes, violent offenses, crimes against persons, burglaries," said Cyndi Cunnington, DNA supervisor.

Idaho has been slow to act in the DNA field, but it is starting to catch up.

In 2010, the DNA lab reported a backlog of 6,000 samples waiting to be processed.

Now the backlog is under 2,000 and two newly trained analysts will soon bring the lab's staff up to three fully trained technicians. Each technician will be able to process 1,000 samples a month.

"We are going to start receiving a larger number of samples, however we are prepared for that."

When Patrick Jon Zacaharias, now charged with the 1998 murder of Kay Lynn Jackson, was sentenced to life in prison for lewd conduct with a minor, the DNA lab was running three years behind.

It's now almost caught up and police say they've also caught up with a killer.