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Plan to widen DNA searches inspired by L.A. serial killer case

November 14, 2011 | 12:27 pm

Photo: California Congressman Adam Schiff, left,  during a meeting at the Altadena Library in April. Source. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times A bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) would make it easier for police departments to use DNA technology to solve cold cases.

Schiff pointed to last year's break in the 25-year-old "Grim Sleeper" serial murder case, in which the LAPD checked DNA from a suspect against a statewide database. Investigators eventually arrested the suspect's father, Lonnie David Franklin Jr., after getting a DNA sample from him that resulted in a perfect match with evidence in the case.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Grim Sleeper killings, 1985-2007

Fortunately, Franklin lived in California, Schiff said. If he had lived in another state, investigators might not have been able to conduct such a check.

Schiff's bill would instruct the FBI to create a system that would allow a state to request a search of the national DNA database.


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Photo: U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), left, at a meeting in Altadena in April. Source: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times