MANATEE — Another federal agency has been brought into Congressman Vern Buchanan’s investigation into fixing the gaps in the federal database entry of offenders' DNA that prevented local authorities from getting a DNA match on accused serial home invader and rapist Delmer Smith III.
Smith is accused of committing a series of violent home invasions in Sarasota in which women were beaten and raped in their homes. He is also a suspect in seven other similar attacks in Manatee and Sarasota, including the beating death of a Sarasota woman in her home.
On Thursday, Buchanan, R-Sarasota, met FBI officials in order to search for answers in eliminating a DNA backlog of more than 290,000 samples of federal convicts that have not been entered into the system.
Smith’s DNA was among that backlog throughout the four months Sarasota authorities say the ex-federal prisoner committed the series of home invasion attacks. Sarasota County Sheriff’s detectives had DNA from four home invasions but obtained no match from federal databases.
It was only after a bar fight that resulted in Smith’s arrest, that his federal record became apparent. Local authorities asked for entry of his DNA into the federal system after finding property stolen from several of the home invasions.
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