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The bloody clothing of a patient admitted to a hospital with a stab wound was linked to a bloody trail at a crime scene, leading to homicide charges within hours.

Rapid DNA, a quickly-spreading technology that got a boost with federal legislation this summer, was what allowed the quick resolution of the murder of 35-year-old Rhyhiem Hodge on Nov. 12 in Carlisle Borough, Pennsylvania, according to the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.

Christopher Jaquell Williams, 25, is now being held without bail on criminal homicide, robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and unlawful restraint counts, according to the Carlisle Police Department. Williams, of Harrisburg, is expected to make a court appearance today.

“We now have a capability to do rapid DNA match for the purpose of an investigation—not necessarily identification—but the purpose of investigation,” said David Freed, the district attorney. “It’s an investigative tool that helps us build the probable cause we need.”

Police allege that Williams intended to rob Rhyhiem and his family members under the guise of a marijuana deal. But Williams allegedly pulled the gun and killed Hodge during a “scuffle” inside the apartment on North College Street.

But Williams was wounded with a serious knife cut in the hand—and he bled both inside the crime scene and leaving a trail outside the building, according to authorities.

When Carlisle Police received notification that someone with a knife wound was being treated at a Harrisburg hospital some 25 miles away, they went to the medical facility and collected the bloody clothes of the patient.

The blood on the clothes Williams had appeared at the hospital in matched the blood left at the crime scene, said authorities in a press conference last week.

Hodge was killed at 3:11 p.m. on Nov. 12, and Carlisle took Williams into custody at 11:47 a.m. on Nov. 14—less than 48 hours later, based on the DNA evidence.

Williams’ CODIS profile in the database from prior criminal convictions never came into the equation—it was instead just a quick and direct comparison of the two blood samples that provided a match, allowing detectives to place the suspect at the crime scene.

“In an investigative sense, it’s a great tool we have,” said Freed. “It has to be the right kind of scene, with the right things to compare it to … Things have to line up to use it. We firmly believe it’ll have utility.”

According to someone familiar with the case, the IntegenX RapidHIT system was the one used by Carlisle and Cumberland County authorities to quickly make the crucial genetic match in the case in under two days.

Other evidence has been part of the investigation, however. Some 150 pieces of physical evidence have been collected and examined, and witnesses and surveillance footage from the crime scene (spanning half a block) are in the authorities’ possession, they said.

Rapid DNA is seen as the major new avenue of criminal investigation by some. Several companies are marketing “rapid DNA” tools—and it was a major focus of last month’s International Symposium on Human Identification conference in Seattle. The Rapid DNA Act of 2017 was signed into law in August. Its intent: to allow CODIS profiles to be generated within 90 minutes, as opposed to the weeks it can currently take in some cases.

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