DNA in murder case sits in Denver crime lab for 11 months

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — A father is making an emotional plea and putting up $25,000 of his own money to help find his son’s killer.

He is also asking the Problem Solvers to look into the time it has taken for DNA evidence to be tested in this case and others.

Tom O’Keefe said it’s taking too long to get answers and justice. His 30-year-old son, William O’Keefe, was shot on Nov. 4.

“He was very popular, very personable. He had a heart as big as the sky. He was an amazing young man,” O’Keefe said. “You know, he got crossways in life, and it got him killed. It’s really, really sad that it happened.”

His son was caught in the middle of an exchange of gunfire near his home at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Locust Street in Park Hill.

“There isn’t just the victim from this that got shot. There’s all the collateral damage: the family, friends. My son’s friends at the memorial, my God — their hearts were broken. It’s so incredibly damaging for so many people in so many ways,” O’Keefe said.

DNA evidence sits in lab for 11 months

O’Keefe has spent the last 11 months searching for answers.

“My son was shot and killed. The police believe they know who did it. And who they think did it I think makes total sense. So they’d like to make an arrest, but they can’t because right now, they waited 11 months as of today for that evidence to become available. I’m sitting in front of you today saying I’ve been told DNA evidence has been sitting in the crime lab for 11 months today,” O’Keefe told FOX31’s Deborah Takahara.

The Denver Police Department oversees the crime lab. DPD said a number of factors go into prioritizing how evidence is processed.

They sent us a statement:

The Denver Police Department has identified all parties involved, and the investigation shows multiple handguns were fired during this incident. While this complex case remains open, which limits details we can provide, we can verify that a significant amount of forensic work has been completed, but some remains. Investigators believe the pending forensic analysis can potentially support a weapon-related charge but will not further the ongoing homicide investigation.

Denver Police Department

O’Keefe worries other families are also waiting for answers.

“At the end of the day, if we can’t help the crime lab and help the police make an arrest, how many murderers, rapists, violent criminals are on the street right now?” O’Keefe said.

In the meantime, O’Keefe is offering his own money to bring the reward fund with our partners, Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, up to $30,0000.

“I put together the money to try to encourage someone to come forward. Maybe we could help them. There’s not going to be many witnesses. It happened at two in the morning and I don’t think there were many people looking out their windows and if they were, I’d be terrified too,” O’Keefe said.

If you have any information that could help, call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP). Tipsters can remain anonymous and could be eligible for the cash reward.

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