The Office of Fugitive Apprehension and Investigations, Investigation Unit is responsible for conducting both procedural and criminal investigations under the authority of the Director. Investigations encompass matters concerning inmates, probation and parole inmates, employees and other identified criminal activity which impacts correctional operations. During calendar year 2016, the Investigation Unit was assigned 212 investigations which resulted in 56 cases being presented to the District Attorney of jurisdiction for the filing of criminal charges.
The Fugitive Unit is comprised of agents dedicated to the apprehension of ODOC escapees and inmates who have chosen to abscond parole supervision. Agents are also called upon to assist Probation and Parole Officers with the apprehension of inmates with a violent history as well as to assist the US Marshall’s Violent Crime Task Forces.
During CY 2016, the fugitive hotline added 178 escapes (162 walkaways from community corrections, 16 from minimum security with No escapes from medium or maximum security) and 59 inmates who absconded parole. Assigned agents apprehended 162 DOC escapees and parole absconders while 83 additional fugitives were apprehended by various law enforcement agencies across the nation. The assigned agents assisted Probation and Parole Officers with the apprehension of 94 inmates and assisted the US Marshall Task Force with the apprehension of 149 fugitives.
The Communications Unit provides teletype service, to include online validations, by the way of the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (OLETS). The unit is responsible for entering all escapees and parole absconders into NCIC. Following entry, the unit develops and maintains apprehension files on all fugitives. This unit also maintains the departmental fugitive website and accepts toll free calls from the public in regard to possible locations of fugitives on the Fugitive Hot Line.
Family Reference Samples
In 2010, the office of Inspector General through the association with the International Association of Cold Case Investigators, joined with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office, Tulsa Police Department and the Oklahoma City Police Department to help find relatives of missing persons that have not donated DNA.
The purpose of this program is twofold; assist in identifying unidentified human remains located across the nation and to assist love ones of missing persons by attempting to collect DNA from a blood relative. These family DNA samples, referred to as “Family Reference Samples” are then sent to the University of North Texas.
The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification has the responsibility to receive DNA samples from unidentified persons as well as from family members of missing persons, process those samples, and upload the DNA profiles into the National DNA Index System (NDIS). In the NDIS, profiles from missing and unidentified persons across the United States are searched against one another in an attempt to make identifications. It is important to know that DNA profiles from family members are only searched against unidentified persons in the NDIS, and are not searched against the profiles of unknown criminal suspects. If a family member resides outside the State of Oklahoma, arrangements can be made to have his/her DNA collected at a location close to home.
The family member who volunteers to have their DNA collected is required to sign a permission form. The family member will then be interviewed by a local officer, who swabs the inside of their cheek; this process takes about 10 minutes. Officers then note information on the missing person. If a police report has already been taken, information about that report will be important. If no police report has been taken, officers will asked for the missing person’s full name, date of birth, tattoos, dental information, broken bones, scars, social security number and any circumstances surrounding the time the person went missing. A DNA search will then be completed on all current unidentified remains as well as any unidentified remains which may be received in the future.
For more information in regard to Family Reference Samples, please contact the Tulsa office at (918) 295-3202.