Updated: Monday, 08 Feb 2010, 3:41 PM MST
Published : Monday, 08 Feb 2010, 3:41 PM MST
SANTA FE (KRQE) - A New Mexico law born from the murder of a young woman would require the collection of DNA samples from felony suspects nationwide if an attempt to make it federal law is successful.
In the three years since Katie's Law took effect in New Mexico it's already helped put more than 100 criminals behind bars, according to its advocates.
The law is named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State University student who was raped and murdered in 2003.
The law requires law enforcement to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for specific felony crimes. Those samples go into a DNA database where they can be matched against evidence from other crimes.
Katie's killer, Gabriel Avila, had been serving time on a different conviction when a DNA sample linked him to the Sepich murder.
Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M., said he will be introducing Katie's Law in Washington in hopes it will be go nationwide.
Twenty-one states across the country have already adopted Katie's Law and claim high success rates.
"There's just countless hundreds if not thousands of people that we can save their life and hundreds of perpetrators we can get off the street," Teague said in Santa Fe on Monday.
According to the state Department of Public Safety, some of the 100 prosecuted cases in the state range from murder, sexual assault and auto theft.
A bill to enact Katie's Law in Ohio was introduced in that state's senate last month.