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Aledo Times Record - Aledo, IL
  • New crime lab sought

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  • New leads in the nearly 30-year-old cold case in the murders of Robert and Marcia Edwards and the search for their suspected murderer, adopted son, Joseph Sinnott Edwards, have prompted the Livingston County Sheriff’s Police to request additional funding to send evidence from that case and all others in the county to a new crime lab, Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Lab, located in the DeKalb area.
    “We are to the point right now that we have good leads on the Edwards case. A lot of evidence that was collected years ago never made it to the lab. The state crime lab and the FBI crime lab, which have both been assisting us throughout the years, has about a two- to six-year turnaround time to getting our evidence back,” Livingston County Sheriff Martin Meredith explained at Tuesday evening’s Sheriff, Jail and License Committee meeting.
    He said that crime labs throughout the state are overloaded and understaffed and are working to the best of their capabilities, under the circumstances, but he said that his detectives in the department have found another alternative crime lab that would come at a yearly cost of $23,000 and can handle all the evidence from all the cases in the county with an estimated 30-day turnaround, which would not only help catch criminals faster, but will also move the court hearings along quicker and help solve older crimes much faster. This crime lab was the one originally used when the Edwards murders took place.
    The committee decided that, upon Livingston County Sheriff’s Police Sgt. Det. Earl Dutko speaking with representatives of the crime lab and finding out the prorated cost from October through December of this year, they would approve a 15-month trial of using the services of this new crime lab, pending approval of the Finance Committee, before going before the full board Oct. 11.
    In the Proactive Unit report, Meredith told committee members of the work that the unit has been doing lately, which includes three large seizures involving cannabis grown near Cornell and a heroin bust in Streator. He also said that all county officers involved with the unit were sent for drug tests and each one of them came back with no problems. He said he wasn’t worried that any tests would come back positive for drugs because his officers lead by example.

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