Posts tagged ‘southwest louisiana crime lab’

Virtual Tour: Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab


To go on a virtual tour of the lab, CLICK HERE.


August 20, 2009 at 7:36 pm

CPSO: DNA links Sulphur man to Moss Bluff burglary

*published Aug. 19, 2009
Authorities believe blood at scene result of cut suffered by intruder.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office says another old case has been solved through DNA testing by the recently certified Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab.

Last week, Catlin C. Richard, 21, of Sulphur, was arrested for a June 2005 burglary in Moss Bluff. He was charged with burglary, theft and criminal property damage.

Judge Kent Savoie set his bond at $51,000.

Officials in 2005 collected samples of blood from several rooms in the burglarized house and determined the burglar had cut himself when he broke a window to get inside, authorities said.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said last week that state and FBI crime labs give priority to violent crime cases, leaving samples from other cases to languish on long waiting lists.

The area lab was certified to be a part of the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, two months ago.

On July 31, the 2005 samples were matched to Richard, and he was charged Aug. 13. At the time, he was being held in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on other charges.

The Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab reportedly has 50 to 60 backlogged crime scene samples to input and analyze.

When a sample is matched to a person in the database, it has to be rerun within 30 days by another analyst to confirm the match, said Cmdr. Matt Viator.

Viator said that before the area lab was nationally certified, officers here had to contract with other CODIS-certified labs if they needed a national search.

Samples that are backlogged in state and federal labs can be recalled by local law enforcement agencies to be submitted to the area lab.

CODIS is funded by the FBI and was created as a searchable national database for local DNA labs.

In addition to this latest case, CODIS hits have led to arrests for 13 other crimes: two burglaries and four rapes for the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office; one rape and five burglaries for Lake Charles police; and one burglary for the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On the Net:


August 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Cold cases heat up

published Aug. 12, 2009
National link leads to arrests in ’94 rape, March slaying


The accreditation of the Southwest Louisiana Crime Lab has led to arrests in a 14-year-old rape case and a dozen other crimes, Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said at a Tuesday news conference.

The rape, which happened in September 1994, has been connected to Jonathan J. Frank, 34. He has been charged with aggravated rape in a case in which the victim was raped at knifepoint and severely beaten, resulting in a broken nose.

Mancuso recounted some of Frank’s “lengthy” criminal history, which goes back to 1993 and includes charges of possession of stolen property, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, burglary, felony battery and theft.

“This is a person that needs to be off the streets,” Mancuso said.

Another major case in which DNA evidence was used to bring closure is the March 2009 slaying of Darrell Shaub, whose body was found behind a DeQuincy motel, he said.

Mancuso said John Dickerson, 29, was charged with second-degree murder in the case when his DNA was found on Shaub’s clothes and in his truck.

Mancuso said the four-year process of becoming compliant with the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, was funded by a grant sponsored by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and the half-cent tax passed two years ago.

“In many cases, unless it’s a murder case, it can take two, three, four years to get DNA (results) back from the FBI or state crime lab, which is unacceptable for the victims,” Mancuso said.

The sheriff said the lab opened in 2005 and hired a second DNA analyst two years later, fulfilling the last requirements for accreditation.

CODIS allows DNA processed locally to become a part of a national database of samples.

Mancuso said analysts began entering information into the system two months ago and have since connected suspects to 13 crimes and have two pending cases.

Other cases affected by the crime lab’s work include two burglaries, four rapes and two pending cases for the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office; one rape and five burglaries for Lake Charles police; and one burglary for the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In December 2003, Vitter, as a member of a House Appropriations Subcommittee, secured $1 million to be split among the state’s five regional crime labs to buy equipment.

To see a virtual tour of the crime lab, CLICK HERE


August 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm