Modern Fingerprint

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

The Sparks police department says they had no leads in a 2002 sexual assault case that occurred in a park behind the Wildcreek Golf Course.
But, late last year an arrest for the attempted murder and kidnapping a woman north of Reno.... led to a break in the case.
Sgt. Chad Hawkins with the Sparks Police Department, says they finally found a match.
"When Ernie Toledo was arrested by Washoe County Sheriff's office, his DNA matched the DNA we recovered in this case."
The DNA crime lab at Washoe County Sheriff's Office can take blood, hair, saliva, even sweat to determine a person's DNA.
A DNA analyst, says every person's DNA is different with traits specific to their own mother and father that uniquely identify themselves from anyone else.
They don't deal with names or faces, just numbers.
But, Sgt. Hawkins says the information is crucial to keeping criminals in jail.
"What we see is that a low number of criminals are responsible for a lot of crime."
But, there is mixed response from people about a database that can always identify a person by their DNA.
Eric Hare says a database should have it's limits.
"I just feel it's another way for the government to monitor us, control us."
Jan Wyborny disagrees. She thinks everyone should participate in a national DNA database voluntarily.
"It sounds like if everyone was tested, there would be no discrimination and no one would feel like they were being put down."
Whether it's a car burglary or murder, police say using DNA to identify or even exonerate a suspect is now the reality of most crime scene investigations.


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