County receives grant to investigate cold cases

The Hennepin County AttorneyâÄôs Office received a grant Tuesday to investigate DNA in cold cases. The $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will be used to further investigate into old murder and rape cases. The Minneapolis Police Department received a similar grant last year to reopen cold homicide cases, MPD Criminal Investigation Capt. Amelia Huffman said. Since January, when their $500,000 grant took effect, the MPD reopened 30 of its 1,200 cold cases. DNA investigation, which the grant money helped fund, provided information used to arrest Alfred L. Moen on Monday in a 19-year-old homicide case . Mike Freeman, the Hennepin County Attorney , said the grant will be used mainly for DNA investigation on homicide cases outside Minneapolis and criminal sexual conduct cases in Hennepin County. âÄúThe saliva on a cigarette butt, the cells left behind on your shirt collar; the technology is now good enough that that can be swabbed and processed,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs the CSI effect all over again,âÄù Freeman added. The money will pay for $30,000 in crime lab equipment and new forensic and technology positions within the Hennepin County SheriffâÄôs Department, the AttorneyâÄôs Office said. University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said UMPD has collected DNA evidence for Minneapolis police for the past three months, which may help in investigations. Miner said the University doesnâÄôt usually maintain any cold sexual criminal conduct cases because most of the sexual assaults on campus are matters of consent. âÄúMost of the assaults we have are acquaintance sexual assaults,âÄù he said.