Friday, March 19, 2010

Closed Police Station Yields Neglected Evidence

In 2008 the Cook County Sheriff took over the police duties in the south suburban Village of Ford Heights.  For 2 years the Sheriff had been sharing police duties with the Ford Heights Police Department but had to completely take over the police duties after officers just stop showing up for work.  Financial problems had forced the Village of Ford Heights to not be able to afford a police department.  The Sheriff did not use the former police station because the former police chief continued to perform some code enforcement duties out of that building.  Last spring, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart ordered the former police chief to leave and that's when the doors to the evidence room were opened.  What was found is shocking.  A total of 7 neglected rape kits were left behind in an unplugged refrigerator, nearly 200 guns that had never been registered as seized with the State of Illinois and hundreds of bags of drugs.  Of particular interest was the moldy rape kit that linked a man to the 2006 rape of a 13 year old girl.  This week, authorities arrested the rapist after they determined that there was a great deal of evidence against the man.  When the rape happened, the Ford Heights Police had received a DNA report linking the man to the rape and did nothing with the evidence.  They never even interviewed this man even though he had been arrested 15 times since 2001 and previously been convicted of Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter.  

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