In September of 2010 the State of Colorado enacted “Katie’s Law.” This law requires persons arrested and suspected of a felony to submit to a DNA sample. The law was passed in an attempt to assist in solving violent and sex-assault crimes that have been pending for some time. The law also requires that if no felony charges are filed after 1 year, then the DNA samples are to be destroyed.
In the first 4 ½ months, 15,404 DNA swabs were collected from suspected felons. Of these, 9,212 of the samples were processed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation once felony charges were filed. The samples are then entered into the state’s Combined DNA index system which stores results collected from crime scenes and victims throughout Colorado. Of the initial samples run, 40 matches have been found and charges are now pending in these cases.
“Katie’s Law” is named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico woman who had been raped, strangled and set on fire by a man released on bond.