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New forensic software from DOJ to be used in Lawson murder case

David Josiah Lawson pictured on a reward poster for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for his death.

It has been over nine months since Humboldt State University (HSU) student David "DJ" Josiah Lawson was murdered at a party in Arcata. So far, the Arcata Police Dept. (APD), who is in charge of the case, has no one in custody for the crime.

The Lawson family attorney, Shelley Mack, said that APD has made no new arrests., but continues to work with contracted private investigator and former FBI analyst Tom Parker.

"Tom Parker, the outside consultant who's been working with APD, has been here several times in Humboldt County, speaking with people doing interviews going over the case file," Mack said.

Mack said that an announcement from the California Dept. of Justice (DOJ) could bring new developments to the case.

"Apparently there's a new software that was just put into place at the State DOJ forensic lab that will help us do some DNA deconvolution on some of the pieces of forensic evidence," Mack said.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines DNA deconvolusion as a way to separate DNA from evidence, when more than one person's DNA is present. However, this means that evidence will be coming back to police later than originally planned, Mack said.

"The State DOJ orders its evidence retesting by whether charges have been filed in the particular case that the evidence pertains to," Mack said. " So in this case, since we don't have charges pending, we're at the lower end of that queue."

Mack says the City hopes to have those results by March. However, Lawson's mother, Charmaine Lawson, hopes that someone at the party the night her son was killed, will come forward with information before then.

"Those four girls were at that party that night where my son was viciously murdered, and I want their moms to sit in my shoes." Lawson said. I'm pleading with you to please talk to your children and have them do the right thing. They know what happened to my son. They know what happened, don't be afraid, just do the right thing."

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