In Appleton, WI, DNA testing is being used to help solve a 50 year old murder mystery puzzle. According to the Associated Press, Winnebago County authorities are using new DNA testing technology to solve a murder mystery that reaches back into the 1960s.
In 1963 Wayne Pratt was stabbed over 50 times and died at a gas station between Neenah and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And though there were plenty of suspects and potential people that could have committed the crime, there was not enough evidence to charge or convict anyone. Now, 50 years after the brutal murder of Wayne Pratt, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is sending archived evidence to a state crime lab for DNA testing. They are hoping that the DNA test will reveal who the murderer was so that they can potentially be charged for the crime.
According to Sherriff John Matz, “DNA opens a lot of doors.” Included in that statement were comments regarding what they considered to be the most important pieces of evidence from the Pratt case. The evidence includes dried blood from different items found at the scene of the murder.
Heralding use of DNA testing for cold cases was Brian O’Keefe, an administrator of law enforcement for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Mr. O’Keefe claims that DNA testing is the primary reason why cold cases are not being solved, and indicated that more cases could follow in the future.
“[DNA testing] is such a powerful tool. It can bring justice to a family who has lost somebody,” O’Keefe said.
At DNA Services of America we are proud to offer forensic DNA testing. Similar to the state lab that will analyze the evidence from the Pratt murder, we are able to analyze police evidence of blood and tissue samples and identify what DNA material belongs to whom. With advances in DNA testing, it will soon be commonplace to solve these cold cases and to prevent further cold cases from developing. We have the means and technology to ensure that criminals do not evade justice for their crimes and that they will be held responsible.
DNA Services of America is located in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has relationships with Service Centers and laboratories throughout the United States to provide DNA testing services for everyone.