Baltimore County police are starting to get back test results from a long-delayed project to process the oldest known collection of DNA evidence from rape cases.


Last year, ProPublica wrote about the trove of evidence and the prescient doctor who began assembling it in the 1970s, long before preserving forensic evidence was common police practice. Police have processed DNA from 49 of about 1,800 remaining cases as of the first quarter of this year, according to a department memo obtained through a public information request and follow-up communications with a sergeant in charge of the cold case unit. Ten of the 49 cases yielded actionable DNA profiles, according to the sergeant. The results, even from such a small batch, are at once promising and alarming.