Citizen’s and Local Businesses “Heart and Soul” of DNA Effort

As of 3 p.m. Friday, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office had received over $165,000 in donations for their DNA fund, surpassing their goal of $150,000, thanks to vigorous local and national public support. “The compassion shown by our citizens and local businessmen and women is so characteristic of the American Spirit. When they see a community need, their generosity is limitless“ said Sheriff Mike Haley.

Hundreds of local and national citizens and community businesses have rallied their support to raise funds in order to process a backlog of approx. 3,000 DNA samples from convicted offenders to be compared with the DNA of the unknown suspect who abducted Brianna Denison. “What began as a phone call from the Carano family asking how they could help; has quickly turned into a national effort. In only 5 days we have reached our goal and can move forward in search for Briana’s abductor. The public has stepped forward and we are exceedingly grateful. The goal was finally reached through a generous $50,000 grant by the Ranson and Norma Webster Foundation at the Community Foundation.

No sooner had funds poured in; checks were issued for supplies needed to process the DNA. On Wednesday a check for $47,000 was issued for the supplies needed by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Crime Lab to process the 1875 samples which are already there and in various stages of processing.

Thursday, to fulfill requirements, Washoe County Forensic Science Division Senior Criminalist Jeff Riolo was in Virginia completing a walk through of the Bode Technology Group facility. On Monday, 1000 DNA samples and a check for $50,000 will be sent to Bode for them to process the remaining backlog.

The final $50,000 was needed to fund quality assurance testing and the overtime involved to complete those tests here at the Washoe County Crime Lab.

Funds received in excess of $150,000 will be used to process future DNA samples and add profiles to the DNA database.