Sepich began advocating for more DNA sampling on behalf of Katie and other victims' families. New Mexico lawmakers passed "Katie's Law" in 2006, which requires DNA sampling from most felony arrests go into the CODIS system.
"The law passed on midnight and the very first arrestee matched back to a double homicide," she said.
Sepich watched several states pass and implement similar policies with no problems.
"They do the fingerprints, the mug shots and also a swab of the cheeks," she said. "It's a very simple procedure. It doesn't have to be medical personnel. A booking officer can do it."
Sepich's family is currently asking Congress to pass the Expanded DNA Collection Act, which would reimburse states for DNA sampling for the first year after they pass legislation.
Sepich said she would work with anyone in West Virginia who wants to see the policy expanded and hopes state legislatures see the benefits.
"We've seen all across the country when a state does not pass this law," she said. "Washington State chose not to do this and we saw a serial rapist there who could have been stopped."
Anthony Dias, a Washington man, was convicted of a series of rapes in 2008. Dias had been arrested several times on unrelated charges.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.