Technology helps solve about 80 cold cases in Darlington County

Garry Billiot is a certified fingerprint examiner with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office. While working to solve a burglary that happened on Bellhaven Road in Darlington County in April, Billiot's using new Automated Fingerprint Identification System or AFIS to help him out.

"We dusted and we were able to lift this print," said Billiot.

The technology is compliments of a $120,000 grant deputies got in 2009.

"Anything we can do that helps us get our solve ability rate up and that you no helps us get criminals off the street is invaluable to us," said Sheriff Wayne Byrd.

AFIS comes with two pieces of technology. A state-of-the-art camera takes a picture of the print and displays it on a computer. Billiot closely examines it using his expertise to mark any noticeable differences about the print.

"It's these little details that we have in our fingerprints like this right here, this little section here. It's where one ridge will come up and will separate into two ridges. Where that's placed in this fingerprint is unique to this person," said Billiot.

When Billiot is done, he enters the information into AFIS where it searches a nationwide database for matches.

It pulls up 30 fingerprints, including those of a man in Darlington County.

Billiot said, "I want to be 100 percent that this is the print that the person matches to."

After about 30 minutes, Billiot has his man. Deputies are getting warrants to arrest the suspect.

Last week, the department solved six burglaries thanks to AFIS.