Big Island police: Evidence in high profile cases compromised

Big Island police: Evidence in high profile cases compromised

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii police say procedural changes have been made after evidence from storage lockers was compromised.

West Hawaii Today reports Hawaii County police attribute the loss of DNA evidence in two separate high-profile 2016 criminal cases to rodents. The items - a bloodied wadding from a shotgun shell and a tampon - were drying in an outdoor locker when police believe a mongoose, or other type of rodent, crept in and snatched them.

Hawaii Police Department Area II Assistant Chief Mitchell Kanehailua says, "We have taken steps to mitigate the problem."

The lost DNA evidence was brought to public awareness last week when defense attorneys attempted to suppress all DNA evidence and drop sexual assault charges due to the loss or spoliation of the tampon in a reported 2016 rape case.

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