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DNA Cases Straining Erie County Resources

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County District Attorney's office is basking in the success of some high-profile cases that were solved through DNA. But that success comes at a price.

Bike Path Killer Altemio Sanchez was put away thanks to DNA. Anthony Capozzi was freed because of the technology. And, right now, accused killer Dennis Donohue is the focus of three separate murders where DNA promises to be the prime evidence.

But one of those investigations, the 1975 cold case murder of Carol Reed, is on hold.

District Attorney Frank Clark said resources are limited. So, for now, he said the Reed case will have to wait. Meanwhile, Clark said the cases are mounting.

He said that means prioritizing. Right now, the DA's office has re-opened the investigation into the 1993 murder of thirteen-year-old Crystallyn Girard. Her mother Lynn Dejac is in prison for the murder.

But DNA has possibly tied Donohue to that murder. He already faces trial because of a DNA link to the 1993 murder of Joan Giambra. Clark said that doesn't even take into account the more than forty homicides that have occurred this year.

And he said they all take personnel and money to pursue.

That would fall to the County Executive and the legislature who must finalize a budget for 2008 by early December. However, several other departments are also in line, citing the need for extra resources.

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