YORK, S.C. – After years of planning, the York County Sheriff's Office now has its own DNA crime lab.
The brand new, fully accredited lab is located in the basement of the sheriff's office in the Moss Justice Center.
In the past, items of evidence had to be bagged, tagged and sent off to the state crime lab run by the State Law Enforcement Department, or SLED.
Tests there could take weeks, months, or even, in some cases, up to a year.
With the new lab, technicians can begin complicated evidence testing immediately.
Sheriff Bruce Bryant was on hand to lead a tour of the lab for news reporters.
"Just to be able to use the technology of DNA to solve crimes here in York County, and to be able to have our own lab, this is going to be wonderful," the Sheriff said.
Cristy Kissel, who is the DNA technical leader for the new lab, said it will be able to handle any test that is now being done at any state of the art crime lab.
"For criminal cases we can screen evidence for body fluid that may come from a single burglary, all the way up to your homicides and anything in between," said Kissel
The lab was built using a variety of grants and money from drug forfeitures.
Kissel said, "None of it would be county funding or taxpayer dollars."
The evidence storage locker in the lab is already filling up with items to be tested.
Kissel said she is ready to get started trying to find the clues detectives need to solve crimes.
"I love to see people being helped. In horrible situations as these victims tend to find themselves, it is a joy for me to be able to give them some closure," she said.