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Backlog in DNA section at state crime lab

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ASHEBORO, N.C. -- All crime cases in all 100 counties in North Carolina that need DNA analysis have to go to the state crime lab in Raleigh. Joan Harris's case was one of them.

"We need answers to what happened to her for us to move on," explains Zachary Byrd, Joan's son.

Harris was found shot to death in her apartment back in December. Since then her family hasn't heard any developments on the case. "Absolutely nothing. We might as well be on day two since she died," says Byrd.

It took Asheboro Police four months to get the results back from the state crime lab. They told us this is still an open investigation and they haven't made any arrests.

Several other cases are still waiting in the state lab to be examined. And they've been waiting there for a while.

"There is nobody in the state that is more frustrated than I, as the director of the laboratory, or the men and woman and scientist in the laboratory," explains Joseph John, director of the state crime lab.

Crime lab officials see about 3,900 cases that come into the DNA section. It would take 116,000 hours and 55 scientists, with no time off to handle all those 3,900 cases. Currently the state crime lab has 24 DNA scientists.

"We are doing everything we possibly can with what we’ve got to be as effective and as efficient as possible.

"The bottom line is more law enforcement officers, more district attorney's, more clerks of court are not going to get the cases from our laboratories to trial unless we are able to present that evidence and we don’t have the people to do that now," explains John.

John says in order to hire more workers they need more money from the state.

"We’ve got teachers that are wanting money, we’ve got developmentally disabled people, we’ve got the Medicaid problem. We have so many issues," explains Representative Pat Hurley.

Hurley tells FOX8 this DNA backlog will be discussed as part of the budget during the General Assembly.

Joan's family is still waiting to hear what happened to their mom.

"It`s unacceptable; there’s no excuse for this," says Gena Byrd, Joan's daughter.


  • gena

    The woman they are talking about in this article was my mother. The Asheboro Police Department has not told us one single thing about having already received the forensic test results back. We had to hear about it from Miss Eaton from Fox8. That is totally unnacceptable. And they’ve had these results back since last month! I feel like every last employee at APD deserves to be fired, & a whole new team of people brought in. A team who will actually do their job. My mother was shot to death on December 21, 2013. We haven’t been told anything at all yet. And on top of that, the ONLY person who was with her when she was shot, the same one who was covered in her blood when the police got there, has yet to be questioned. This is the same guy who physically abused her on a regular basis, & APD has been made aware of that fact. Not to mention how he TOLD people that he shot her, & how he still walks around making comments about how he shot her. Unexcusable.

    • news2me

      So sorry to hear this..
      This IS Totally Unacceptable.

      You are brave for standing up for justice for your Mother.

      I have seen enough of Investigative Discovery and Forensic Files to know that this crime can be solved if it is investigated correctly.

      I have seen DNA tests come back in a couple of days for the High Profile Cases. …

      I hope your case goes National

      There is a murderer in your town and this is frightening.

      You need to continue your mission to find the person that killed your Mother.

      Good Luck and I will be watching.

      Fox 8 High Point should be applauded for printing this story.

  • gena

    Thank u news2me. I am hopeful that these “detectives” will finally do something for my family & I, & make an arrest in this case. If they don’t, at least I know that God will deal with the person who killed my mother.

  • ANof

    всем здрасти, мне показалось будет классно представить вам
    это нечто, что живет у меня дома:
    Марусик 1.2 года

    ну разве он не няшка?
    буду рад,если поддержите тему и покажите своих!

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