New DNA databank could help Sudbury Police solve cold cases

A new kind of database may provide Sudbury Police with a slim hope of solving a 20-year-old murder and other cold cases.
Renee Sweeney was killed while working in a Sudbury shop in 1998. (Supplied)

A new kind of database may provide Sudbury Police with a slim hope of solving a 20-year-old murder and other cold cases.

On Jan. 23, 1998, 23-year-old Sweeney was working at an adult video store in Sudbury's south end, when a man entered the store. The man approached the counter and stabbed Sweeney 30 times, stealing $200 from the cash register before he fled.

Staff Sergeant Jordan Buchanan says the National Missing Persons DNA registry was launched this week.

He says police will submit DNA of the suspect in the 20-year-old murder.

Buchanan says it could help identify the suspect, but only if the man was reported missing and his remains found.

"Now is that going to happen? I don't know," he said.

"I don't think the odds are very good but potentially that may happen and we would be able to solve our case."

Buchanan says there are also 10 historic missing persons cases on the books dating back to 1974 the database could help solve.

"We don't forget these cases." he said.

"We keep them alive for the families and for the community because a lot of people are impacted by these cases and I'm hoping this tool is just something that will help the families and the communities resolve them quicker."

Buchanan says police hope to resolve at least two or three cases using the new databank.

With files from Kate Rutherford