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Indiana Central News
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Indiana State Police
BLOOMINGTON - Indiana State Police Forensic Scientist Virginia Maletic was recently recognized by the City of Bloomington Police Department for her extraordinary work in a burglary and assault incident that occurred to a 74 - year- old victim. Matetic received the commendation from Bloomington City Police Chief Mike Diekhoff and Deputy Chief Joe Qualters during the Bloomington Police awards ceremony.
The following is a copy of the letter of request that was submitted by Bloomington Police Department Sergeant Ryan Pedigo for consideration of the commendation:
On June 14, 2015, Patrol Units were dispatched to an address in the 600 block of East Alpine Trail in regards to a welfare check on a 74 -year-old female. The female had activated her Guardian Medical Alarm and had advised the alarm company that someone had broken into her apartment and hurt her. Upon the arrival of Patrol, it was learned that a male subject had broken into the apartment and held the victim against her will. He had also sexually assaulted the female repeatedly prior to her being able to activate her medical alarm, which ultimately resulted in the suspect fleeing from the apartment.
Detective Jeff Rodgers was called-in to investigate the burglary and sexual assault. Detective Rodgers requested that numerous items be collected by an evidence technician in the hopes that trace evidence had been left by the suspect. The victim could only provide a basic description of the suspect and said she had never seen him before. Therefore, the case hinged on possible identification through the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division and any identifying evidence a Forensic Scientist could locate on the submitted items.
Forensic Scientist Virginia Maletic heard about the gruesome attack on the news on her way to work the following Monday. Upon her arrival at work, Ms. Maletic requested to be assigned the case, as she said she immediately wanted to be involved in the hopes of identifying the individual responsible for this heinous crime.
Ms. Maletic worked for several days and located a single male hair on a piece of submitted bedding. Through that single hair, Ms. Maletic was able to isolate a DNA profile for the suspect. She compared the resulting DNA profile to those profiles in the national database, but did not get a positive match. However, Ms. Maletic was able to confirm that the profile matched the suspect profile from an unsolved case involving a similar burglary and sexual assault that had been investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in 1999.
This provided Detective Rodgers with a lead as he reviewed the list of individuals mentioned in that case. Detective Rodgers was able to develop a suspect and the suspect provided a buccal swab for DNA comparison purposes. Detective Rodgers stayed in contact with Ms. Maletic, who advised him that she would be willing to work overtime on the holiday weekend of July 4th with the hopes of positively identifying the suspect.
I met Ms. Maletic on July 3rd at the Indiana State Police Laboratory and provided her with the buccal swab from the suspect. Ms. Maletic worked all day to compare the DNA profiles between the hair left by the suspect and the standard submitted for the suspect. At 1838 hours on the evening of Friday, July 3rd, Ms. Maletic contacted me and advised me that the DNA samples were indeed a match, thereby providing Detective Rodgers probable cause to arrest and charge the suspect. It also provided probable cause for the suspect to be charged in the case being investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Ms. Maletic showed a dedication to duty rarely duplicated in today's society. Her internal drive and desire to successfully identify those responsible for this crime truly represents the values and actions that the Citizen's Commendation was designed to acknowledge. Ms. Maletic's selfless actions and meticulous evidence processing lead to the identification of a suspect, which provided a sense of security to the citizens of Bloomington and Monroe County knowing that the suspect had been arrested and charged.
I respectfully request that Virginia Maletic be awarded a Citizen's Commendation for the valuable role she played in this investigation.
Sergeant Ryan Pedigo
“Virginia is a dedicated and valued member of our laboratory system. She serves professionally in her role as a Forensic Scientist and is a valued asset as a member of the Indiana State Police Biology Section,” stated Indiana State Police Laboratory Division Commander Major Steve Holland. “Her work has gained her respect from her peers within the scientific community.”
Virginia resides in Indianapolis with her husband and child.
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News Writer: Lucy Perry