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CMPD To Expand Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department will be able to expand its work solving cold cases involving sexual assault thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The agency has awarded the department $486,000 grant. That will allow CMPD's cold case unit to add two positions: a DNA analyst and an assistant district attorney. Captain Mike Smathers is with the department's Criminal Investigations Bureau. He says the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit will no longer have to compete with other cases for DNA testing and prosecution. "We don't have to tax the current capacity of our lab or the DAs office," says Smathers. "This grant funds additional positions. So I'm very excited that we're even going to be able to screen more cases." The cold case unit was founded in 2006 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The unit's investigations have led to the convictions of 42 people since then. This year a man pled guilty to the rapes of six women around Myers Park in the 1990s after the cold case unit linked his DNA to some of those attacks.