Evidence Management: Key to Catching the Right Criminal

April 4, 2020 Natalie Dunlap

Evidence tracking and management have more impactful uses than just keeping an efficient workflow. In 2018, there were over 7 million reported property crimes and over 1 million violent and murder crimes committed alone. When you think about the various other types of crimes and the amount of evidence that can come from each, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the number of items to maintain.

Evidence Management and Cold Cases

By correctly preserving evidence and the development of evidence tracking software, numerous cold cases now have the opportunity to be solved. For example, the Sarah Yarborough case went cold for 28 years before the help of DNA testing. When Sarah was 16 years old, she was brutally strangled to death while she was on her way to school on a Saturday morning for drill team practice. Although there were several eyewitness accounts and male DNA was found on the girl’s clothes, the case still went cold. DNA was regularly searched in the national DNA databases, but unfortunately, no matches were found.

The strongest key piece of evidence? The DNA found at the scene of the crime. The development of genetic genealogy has led to a growing number of leads in unsolved cases, which allows an unknown person’s DNA to be tested against family members who voluntarily submit their DNA to other genealogy databases. It was with the technological innovation of genetic genealogy that helped lead to the arrest of Patrick Nicholas. Nicholas had been in and out of jail for other crimes, but his DNA was never entered into the system. When investigators submitted the DNA from a cigarette discarded by Nicholas, a match came back for the same DNA found on Yarborough’s clothes.

Evidence Management: Providing Breakthroughs

This breakthrough and arrest 28 years later would have never been made possible without preservation and evidence tracking software. By using an innovative evidence management system, officials can extend the lifecycle of evidence collected at any crime scene for many years to come. Lawyers, investigators, property room employees are just some of the officials that evidence can pass through. Knowing every hand evidence has passed through and keeping each item in pristine condition is the pinnacle of evidence management. Without the correct procedures and evidence tracking software, Sarah’s family wouldn’t be a step closer to the closure they never received.

Having an office successful in closing cases means having advanced evidence tracking software to provide high quality and essential information in real-time. According to The Innocence Project, 32% of closed cases were due to evidence being lost or destroyed. Lost or destroyed evidence can put you at a disadvantage or even used against you in the future. Always be prepared and one step ahead to solve tough cases with proper evidence management.

PMI Evidence Trackerâ„¢

At PMI Evidence Trackerâ„¢, we know how crucial evidence management is to a law enforcement agency. Evidence provides strong support in any case, which is why we have developed evidence tracking software by Cops, for Cops. Our powerful tool provides law enforcement with innovative technology at an affordable and flexible price. Contact us today to learn more about our systems and to get started.