DNA backlogged at crime labs, Illinois Police questioned

Lawmakers questioned Illinois State Police about the DNA backlog at state crime labs, stating too many cases are waiting on DNA processing.

State police say the backlog has been drastically cut down, but state senators worry the delays in processing DNA could mean potential suspects who might otherwise have been arrested and in custody haven't been identified, WLS-TV reported.

Families of homicide victims also demand more action.

“The backlog went down 16% last year," said Brendan Kelly, director of the Illinois State Police. "(But) the challenge is for every one DNA sample completed, 1.2 are created."

State police say at this time there are 14 Chicago homicide cases that are still waiting on DNA processing after more than a year. They did not say how many cases less than a year old are waiting for DNA processing.

“Our goal is a six month turnaround on all of our cases,” said Robin Woolery, Assistant Deputy Director of the Illinois State Police. “We are not there yet but we are getting there.”

Senator Patricia Van Pelt said that goal should be six weeks, not six months.