Marshall University's Forensic Science Center at Forefront of DNA Technology

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The DNA that has helped police pinpoint a new suspect in the 1987 Huntington Mall rapes went through the labs at Marshall University's Forensic Science Center.

"It shows the criminal justice system never sleeps." says Dr. Terry Fenger, the director Marshall University's Forensic Science Center.
"we process upwards of 3000 DNA cases for West Virginia State Police each year."

It's all anonymous. The DNA samples are sent, processed and
sent back to WV State Police. It's a partnership more than 15 years old.

"The original Woodall case, that's when I originally made contact with the WV state police; that's what really initiated this partnership." says Dr. Fenger, "I should point out this partnership is a model for the country."

Since Glen Dale Woodall was convicted of the Huntington Mall Rapes of 1987, WV law has changed. Now every convicted felon must submit to DNA sampling. Currently there are more than 11 thousand in the state's database.

Woodall was cleared of all charges back in 1992. The state of WV, paying him $1,000,000. for his wrongful imprisonment. DNA playing a key role in that case.

Today, Marshall's Forensic Science Center also does work for Miami/Dade County in Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, and Los Angeles, California.


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