Aurora police say preliminary information shows DNA evidence in 48 alleged sexual assault cases from 2009 was mistakenly destroyed, including one case in which no one has been charged yet.
Police Chief Daniel Oates publicly announced the errors Tuesday night after first apologizing personally to the accuser in the active case for the "grievous" mistake.
The problem came to light after a detective who found a DNA match in a 2009 case found that other evidence was gone.
Oates says a subsequent investigation found that in 30 cases, an injured officer assigned to light duty apparently destroyed evidence in error. In 18 other cases, after a detective determined evidence could be destroyed, a technician in the property and evidence unit didn't review that decision, as department policies require.