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New Hanover crime scene investigators to have quicker access to DNA results. Here's how.

By: Jamey Cross

Published 6:02am. October 4th, 2022

Crime scene investigators with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office will soon have the ability to test DNA samples rapidly and in-house.

The agency will be the only in the state actively using such technology, and it comes with a hefty price tag.

At its Sept. 19 meeting, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously accepted a $400,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant funds will be used by the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office to purchase equipment that can generate DNA test results in 90 minutes.

According to Lt. Lauren Carroll with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, the equipment will produce DNA test results "significantly faster" than the department has previously received such results.

Carroll said she works within the detective division at the sheriff's office and currently supervises crime scene investigation, the forensic laboratory, and property and evidence. Currently, DNA samples collected by the department are tested primarily by the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory. The laboratory processes evidence for law enforcement agencies throughout the state through its facilities in Raleigh, Edneyville and Greensboro.

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