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    Crime lab director weighs in on Morgan Nick case

    10:35 PM, Nov 17, 2010   |    comments
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    • Morgan Nick as she might look at age 18.

    We first told you Monday that federal authorities are looking at an Oklahoma home for possible new DNA evidence in the Morgan Nick abduction case. It's a move that could shed some needed light on the 15-year old mystery. 

    The FBI can't comment on the specifics of their latest work in Oklahoma other than to say there's an active and open investigation in the Morgan Nick case and they continue to assist local authorities. So we went to the State Crime Lab here in Little Rock to try to get some potential answers.

    It's been a face on the Arkansas radar screen for 15 years: missing six-year-old Morgan Nick of Alma. A website dedicated to her reveals the latest picture of how she'd look. 

    "The importance is that we don't forget that these cases are out there," Kermit Channell said.

    Channell is the Arkansas State Crime Lab Director, one player in the ongoing Morgan Nick case.

    On Monday, news broke that federal investigators searched a home in Spiro, Oklahoma for new DNA evidence, not far from Morgan's hometown. 

    "Just because it's been 15 years, it doesn't rule out the possibility of obtaining some type of biological evidence," Channell said.

    Channell says if potential DNA goes undisturbed, investigators might find something; a blood stain would be gold.

    "Optimally if you had a dry, well-preserved blood stain, that's going to be the best type of evidence probably to go forward," Channell said.

    But he says the latest DNA advances could even yield results for a piece of hair or skin.  

    "Even if we have broken-down samples, the technology is such we can still get viable DNA profiles that can be instrumental in an investigation," Channell said.

    Whatever the DNA maybe, Channell says if investigators find something new, more than likely they'll bring it here to the State Crime Lab in Little Rock for examination.

    "When we're talking about cold unsolved cases they come into a category that we automatically prioritize. It just depends on how many we are actively pursuing and involved with," Channell said.

    As for the latest search, Channell calls it due diligence, crossing every "I" and "T" on case close to so many hearts. 

    Our affiliate station in Fort Smith, KFSM, reports the FBI only spent a day at the home in Spiro, a place where a previous person of interest in this case was from.           

    In April, the FBI put some new people on this case for a fresh set of eyes and they're going through all the evidence again.

    In previous interviews we've done with Morgan's mother, Colleen Nick, told us she believes Morgan is still alive. And was inspired by the recent Jaycee Dugard case out of California where Dugard was found alive after missing for 18 years. 

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