Prosecutor O’Malley has allocated the G.O.L.D. Unit to utilize $250,000 of Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) to fund the new current genealogical testing initiative. The funds will cover genealogical testing for cases that have occurred within the last four years where a violent crime was committed. The G.O.L.D. Unit will review cases submitted by law enforcement agencies in Cuyahoga County to see if they are viable for genealogical testing. Specifically, there are three major components to qualify a case for review for genealogical testing.
- Do you have a violent crime that has occurred within the last four years where all reasonable leads have been exhausted?
- Do you have a single source DNA profile believed to be the perpetrator that has not hit in CODIS?
- Do you have leftover DNA that can be tested where known parties have been eliminated?
If your case meets the above criteria, please submit the case to the CCPO’s G.O.L.D. unit for review for genealogical testing. Cases can be submitted by emailing GOLD@prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us. If there are specific questions involving the application process, please contact Mary Weston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*SAKTF / G.O.L.D. Unit History
Since its inception, the Task Force has completed 7,900 investigations that have resulted in over 850 defendants indicted, the highest number of any SAKTF in the country. The number of indictments includes over 1,000 victims as several defendants are convicted or alleged serial offenders. Of those cases, the Task Force has secured over a 93% conviction rate with offenders’ average prison sentence being approximately 10 years.
As the original 7,026 investigations neared completion, the CCPO contacted the Cleveland Division of Police (CPD) Sex Crimes Unit who indicated there was a need for further investigation on sexual assault kits that have been tested by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office (CCMEO) between 2012 and 2019. The G.O.L.D. Unit was formed to conduct follow-up investigations and review unknown DNA profiles to determine if they may be eligible for additional testing with new technology. The unit’s work includes the Sexual Assault Kit Task Force, the Cold Case Homicide project, Genealogy Testing of unsolved cold cases and the Lawfully Owed DNA project. To date, 29 DNA profiles of indicted rapists have been submitted and five cases have been solved using genealogy.
The SAKTF / G.O.L.D. Unit is led by the CCPO and includes CPD, BCI, CCMEO, Cleveland State University, and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.