Solving crimes in the Midlands

For six years, the Richland County Sheriff's Department has been cracking cases with DNA evidence.

Richland County and SLED have the only DNA labs in the state.

Sheriff Leon Lott is glad his department can help.

We're solving cases that probably would never have been solved without the people in this room," Lott says. Anything you touch is potential DNA.

John Baron is a forensic DNA analyst for the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Baron say's there is no case the DNA lab won't touch.

We work on any type of crime. The majority of crime in Richland County is burglary. We've solved many of those on what we call cold hits," Baron adds.

A cold hit is when investigators have no suspects or leads, but by collecting and processing DNA, analysts are able to create a profile and even give investigators a suspect TMs name.

It gives them another tool to solve crimes."

Investigators say that's just what happened last week when they charged Frankie McGee with the murder of Columbia Reverend Tryon Eichelberger. Authorities say DNA found at the crime scene is a key piece of evidence.

It may have been solved by some other means at some point, but we were able to do it with these people this equipment and this lab," Lott explains.