A Mother's Quest to Have DNA Taken Upon Arrest
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Since February 1st, North Carolina became the 24th state to allow law enforcement to take a DNA Swab from a person upon their arrest for certain misdemeanors and felonies.

After the rape and murder of her 22-year-old daughter Katie Sepich in New Mexico 7 years ago, Jayann Sepich, began traveling the country to push for new laws to collect DNA samples at the time suspects are arrested for serious crimes.  It took three years to match the DNA profile from her daughter's killer, Gabriel Avila, to her murder.

Avila's DNA sample was not in the New Mexico DNA database.  Weeks after Katie's murder, Avila had been arrested in another incident, but his DNA profile was not taken.  Jayann Sepich believes that her daughter's killer could have been found much sooner, perhaps years earlier, had a DNA sample been taken during Avila's arrest for an unrelated incident.   The Sepichs successfully lobbied to have Katie's Law passed in New Mexico and started an organization,, in memory of Katie.  Mrs. Sepich was in Olympia, Washington, to petition law makers to pass a law to take the DNA of arrestees.  She said:  "I miss her every day, but there's nothing I can do for Katie...But we can save other lives. We can save other lives by using DNA, this powerful, incredible, accurate scientific tool."
Read the news article here.

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