Lynchburg Officer Mario Graves: DNA is No Laughing Matter
Several years ago, there was a burglary in Lynchburg in which the individual who commited the crime, did a pretty unsavory act on the floor of the place he robbed. I am trying describe this politely, but basically he used the bathroom on the floor. When the crime was investigated, the LPD was confronted with a crime that certainly left a bad smell.
There was one officer of the LPD, officer Mario Graves, who looked at the mess on the floor, put on plastic gloves, and retrived a sample. When this happened, I remember an officer of the LPD telling me jokes about it. Something about going beyond the call of duty. Mario took a lot of ribbing from his fellow officers. After all, in a crime like this DNA was not considered a high prirority at the time. And this case, like many unsolved burglaries in Lynchburg was most likely heading to file of unsolved cases in Lynchburg.
The laughing soon stopped, when a DNA match was made. The criminal went to jail. And Mario Graves found a new respect from the officers at the LPD.
Reported by the Daily Press in Hampton Roads:
They report that Virginia data base of DNA includes more than 236,000 convicted felons. Many lessor crimes are being solved, and there are a total of 2,822 cases solved by DNA matches in Virginia.
"If the evidence at a crime scene is there - even if the case is minor - police said it's their job to collect it and send it to the lab. "If he did a $10 robbery, he could have done a million-dollar robbery," said Newport News police spokesman Lou Thurston."
We consider Officer Mario Graves a ground breaker in this trend. And thank him for his service to our community.