In some cases, families of victims or suspects involved in crimes, or even other agencies, are left waiting for the evidence to be processed.
Much of the evidence from local crime is sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab in Corpus Christi. The lab services 18 counties in the Coastal Bend, which is a large workload considering the wide-spread amount of evidence technicians process.
“Obviously we try and work on them [evidence] as quickly as possible,” Brian Nacu said. He is the regional lab manager at the Texas DPS crime lab in Corpus Christi, and adds, “but when you have that many cases coming in, things are going to back up eventually.”
Until five years ago, the Texas DPS crime lab of Corpus Christi was operating out of the DPS office. In 2013, they moved into a larger, separate facility.
“It [the old building] was a lot smaller, less room for them to be able to operate, and do the type of testing and store evidence that they needed to be able to store,” DPS Sgt. Nathan Brandley said.
Brandley says moving into a new facility has recently helped speed up the processing of evidence. Matthew Manning, the first assistant District Attorney, agrees.
“Recently we’ve had a couple situations where they’ve gotten something to us faster than we expected, which is always good, always preferred,” Manning said. “But the caliber of their work is top notch.”
However, one thing all the agencies agree on. Patience in important in helping to produce justice.
“Knowing that one of the best agencies out there is going to be doing this work, and knowing that they’re going to get it right 100 percent, is worth the wait I believe,” Brandley said.