Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Evidence in KU student slaying to be sent to U.S.

Costa Rican officials to send evidence to FBI crime lab

June 20, 2001


Evidence that could help solve the brutal slaying of KU student Shannon Martin will be sent to the United States for DNA testing.

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said he spoke Tuesday with the Costa Rican ambassador and was told the evidence would be sent this week to the FBI Crime Lab in Washington D.C.

Martin was killed May 13 in Golfito, Costa Rica. Hair was found in her hand and hair samples have been taken from several suspects.

Brownback made the announcement Wednesday morning during a telephone press conference.

"I believe we are now getting through the blockage on the testing," he said.

Costa Rican law requires that evidence remain in a "chain of custody," so a Costa Rican diplomat will travel with the samples to the United States, Brownback said.

Two requests to send evidence to the United States for testing were previously denied. The requests were made by the Organization of Judicial Investigation, or OIJ the Costa Rican equivalent of the FBI.

"Apparently there was a dispute within governmental authorities of who would pay for maintaining the trail of evidence," Brownback said. "It will be paid for by one of the Costa Rican agencies."

Brownback said he hoped the testing would help solve what he called a "difficult, horrifying" case.

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