Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)
The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) was formed as part of a coordinated effort to address Albuquerque’s backlog of untested, Sexual Assault Kit cases. The SAKI Team, a dedicated group of attorneys, investigators and victim advocates, is tasked with reviewing, testing and prosecuting rape kit backlog cases and working with victims to build cases and provide them with supportive services and resources.
Forensic Genealogy Sub-Unit
Our office has worked to resolve several cold cases through forensic genealogy.
On December 24, 2015 a woman was jogging when she was tackled from behind by Gurule. She was overpowered before being assaulted twice during the attack. The rape happened along a trail near the Rio Grande south of Rio Bravo SW. The case went unsolved for several years until we attempted a different approach.
Gurule’s case was the first in New Mexico to be solved through a commercial genealogy service that our agents from the Sexual Assault Kit Intiative (SAKI) used to charge and successfully convict Gurule.
SAKI agents uploaded the suspect’s DNA profile into a commercial database - which allows members of the public to investigate their own heritage. Gurule’s second cousin, twice removed, a man in his 60s who lives in California, had uploaded his DNA to GEDmatch.com. Comparing that sample to their suspect’s DNA led our teams to Gurule.
In May of 2020 Angel Gurule plead guilty to two counts of criminal sexual penetration in the second degree facing at least a decade in prison.
On July 7, 1997 a woman in the Northeast part of Albuquerque let her cat back into her apartment and left the back door ajar. Shortly after she opened her back door Edward Duran forced his way into her home, held her at knife point, and raped her. Afterward, he forced her to shower and stole her briefcase containing her credit card and driver’s license.
With the help of a contractor, BODE Technology, we used forensic genealogy to track down Duran by matching DNA collected in a rape kit to open-source data from people who had gotten their DNA tested as a way to learn more about their family trees.
Our agents narrowed in on 63-year-old Edward Gilbert Duran where our special agent collected a DNA sample from a fork Duran used at an Albuquerque restaurant. He was charged with two counts of criminal sexual penetration on December 28, 2021.
Agents with the Bernalillo county district attorneys office arrest school bus driver linked to four cold case rapes in NE ABQ in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Special agents with the Bernalillo County District Attorney's office arrested 61 year-old Ralph Anthony Martinez after forensic genetic geneology DNA investigation linked him to multiple rapes that occurred in Albuquerque more than three decades ago. Martinez worked as a school bus driver with APS at the time of the arrest.
Agents with the District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Team (SAKI) collected DNA from the school bus steering wheel, gear shift and switches on the bus Martinez drove. Agents say that DNA matched the DNA evidence collected from the sexual assaults in 1988, 1989 and 1991. "I am really proud of the hard work our Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit is doing (SAKI). We hope this brings some amount of justice to these women and their families," said Bernalillo County District Sam Bregman.
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office continues to push forward and utilize technology to reduce crime and help bring justice to formerly cold cases.