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Date: 2005-01-10

DNA/Tests: Sittenbild aus der US/Provinz

So kann es zugehen, überall auf der Welt, wie in diesem Sittenbild aus der amerikanischen Provinz. Im Dienste der Verbrechensaufklärung werden von Passanten DNA/Tests eingefordert. Wer verweigert, wird notiert.
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The parking lot was empty, and the wind scattered sand along the street, but still the man in the long wool coat waited. When a driver finally parked yesterday afternoon and walked toward the brick steps of Dutra's Market, State Police Trooper John Kotfila was immediately at his side.

Kotfila asked the man, who later gave his name as George, to make a voluntary gesture to help solve a three-year-old homicide that has gnawed at this town: Would he be willing to give police a swab of his saliva so they could test his DNA?


"I'm against drug testing, public searches, what you go through at the airport," he said inside the store. "That's invasion of privacy to me. I'm not a criminal. I'm not a murderer."

In the latest twist in the investigation of slain fashion writer Christa Worthington, police are casting a wide net, randomly asking men in town to provide samples of their DNA.


Worthington was found dead on the floor of her Truro house on Jan. 6, 2002, her 2-year-old daughter, Ava, at her side. Police said DNA evidence suggests that Worthington had sex with a man near the time of her death. Authorities say they don't know whether the sexual partner was also the killer, but the man has never come forward and police say they want to question him.

It was slow going yesterday. Truro has a year-round population of roughly 1,600, and not much is open during the depths of winter.


Kotfila later said that police were taking the license plate numbers of all the men they approached. And while Kotfila wouldn't say that he was particularly interested in those who declined the test, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe has said that authorities would be compelled to look at those who refuse to give a sample. Almost as soon as Kotfila asked Cenotti to help, he agreed.


Jeff Johnston, a tile installer from Eastham, said he agreed to provide a DNA sample simply because the police asked.

"I have no problem cooperating with anyone," he said, adding that his stepbrother is a police officer.


O'Keefe painted the DNA collection effort as just one part of the ongoing investigation into the killing of Worthington. The idea grew out of a discussion local investigators had with FBI profilers about attempts to solve the case last fall, he said. "We will do it as long as we think it appropriate to do it," he said.


He said investigators do not have a specific age range in mind, but that "obviously, they will employ some common sense in how they use this particular tool."

Collecting the sample is a "very simple process" that takes 8 to 10 seconds to complete, he said. A cotton swab is run through the inside of the donor's mouth to collect saliva, which contains DNA.


The DNA collection kits come in bundles of 25, with a price tag of $125, he said.

Each genetic profile developed during the search for Worthington's killer will be destroyed once it is clear the donor is not the person they are seeking, O'Keefe said. The genetic profiles will not be added to the State Police computer system, which contains the DNA profiles of thousands of men and women convicted of violent crimes in Massachusetts.


John Reinstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, said the legality of the DNA tests hinges on three factors: whether the DNA donor consents, whether he understands what he has consented to, and whether he is intimidated into consenting.


"The only thing it reasonably does is narrow down the pool of people who they ask," he said. "That does suggest that the refusal to take the test is in fact what they're looking for."


pointer by ComputerBytesMan via BC-list, tnx

Mehr dazu ek_dna_samples_in_2002_truro_slaying?mode=PF

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2005-01-10
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