GBI Crime Lab Milestones: 25 Years using DNA and CODIS Reaches over 5,000 Confirmed Hits

June 6, 2016

Decatur, GA – This year marks 25 years that the science of DNA has been utilized by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Crime Lab.  In conjunction with this milestone, the DNA Database (Combined DNA Index System or CODIS) used at the GBI Crime Lab has reached a total number of over 5,000 confirmed hits.  These milestones culminate years of quality work produced by GBI Crime Lab scientists and technicians in combination with state of the art technology. 

In calendar year 2015 alone, the total number of hits to unsolved cases was 512.  In just the first 5 months (1/1/16-5/31/16) of the year 2016, the total number of hits was 273. 

GBI Director Vernon Keenan stated, “DNA continues to be an important tool for law enforcement to link criminals to various crimes.  Twenty-five (25) years using this technology with over 5000 confirmed hits is a true testament to the value of DNA and its ability to aid in solving cases.”  In May of this year, an offender received 2 life sentences for the Murder of a 39 year old construction worker at a Kroger on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta.  The CODIS unit helped to solve this case by making a match of the offender based on an arrest made in Florida in April 2015. 

The GBI began DNA testing in 1991.  In 1994, the Georgia legislature authorized DNA collection from convicted sex offenders.  Four years later in 1998, the GBI Crime lab implemented CODIS into its operation.  The current success of the program stemmed from the expansion of the offender law by the legislature in 2000 to include all incarcerated convicted felons.  In 2005, Georgia laws were amended to include inmates serving extended sentences.  Subsequently in 2007, the legislature expanded the DNA database statute to include certain felony probationers.  In total, the majority of DNA hits have been for burglary (49%) and rape (23%) cases while the primary crimes these offenders were incarcerated for are drug, burglary, or robbery related. 

Currently, the GBI DNA database contains 328,408 profiles. Of that total, 309,158 are offender/probationer profiles. 



Contact Information: 
Nelly Miles - 404-270-8332