A young woman, Angie Dodge, was violently raped and murdered in her apartment in Idaho Falls in 1996. Circumstances led the investigators to a suspect who was detained and interrogated. A confession was made and he was convicted. Although he was convicted, little DNA evidence was available. A semen stain was found at the scene, but it did not match the man who was convicted. No other suspects in the case matched the DNA.
Fast forward 20 years. Evidence that was not viable to collect from with traditional collection methods was sampled with the M-Vac®. The evidence included other personal items, including a teddy bear. The DNA collection was completed with the M-Vac®, and the samples were processed. None of the resulting DNA profiles matched the convicted man. The police wanted to double-check the results on the teddy bear, so it was actually M-Vac® sampled a second time, with similar results. What was discovered was the fact that the original semen profile and the DNA found on the newly M-Vac®-sampled personal items were consistent, and did not match the convicted man's profile. The convicted man, Chris Tapp, was released from prison after a resentencing hearing on March 22, 2017, and exonerated on July 17, 2019. The actual killer, Brian Dripps, has now been found, convicted, and sentenced.
The M-Vac® made it possible to determine what DNA material was on the personal items and significantly strengthened the DNA evidence.
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