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Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Phoenix police: DNA yields no leads in officer's fatal shooting
Forensic efforts to link DNA evidence collected at the scene of Phoenix police Sgt. Sean Drenth's fatal shooting have yielded no results, according to investigators who believe additional analyses could take several more months.
More than 10 weeks ago Drenth was found dead Oct. 18 alongside his patrol vehicle in a line-of-duty tragedy that has baffled detectives who have yet to confirm if Drenth was murder or if he committed suicide.
As the investigation continued earlier this month, Drenth was implicated in an off-duty work scandal reviewed by the Arizona Attorney General's Office. The case led to felony charges against three current Phoenix police officers and a former officer.
Phoenix police leaders said Drenth could have also faced felony charges because the sergeant's alleged misconduct would have met the criteria for grand-jury consideration. He was among the officers accused of receiving money for off-duty security work they didn't perform.
Drenth, a longtime south Phoenix patrolman, was found dead around the time Phoenix learned about the Attorney General's Office investigation.
Officers investigated as part of the Attorney General's Office probe were required to submit DNA samples for the Drenth homicide investigation.
On Tuesday, Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump announced that investigators have failed to make a link between DNA samples and evidence collected from the scene of Drenth's death.
"The overall processing of the evidence and comparative analysis is not complete and is expected to take several months," Crump wrote in an e-mail. "We will continue working on the case until all leads have been exhausted."
The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet released Drenth's completed death investigation. Reports take as long as three months, meaning that an official record would likely be released by Jan. 18.