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Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Adopts Latest Forensic DNA Technology with M-Vac

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody announced that the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office adopted a new forensic DNA collection method that will help solve crimes. The sheriff’s office crime lab is the first in Texas to acquire the new, wet vacuum based forensic DNA collection method. 

“We are very excited to have this new tool that takes our capabilities of finding suspect DNA to another level.  Our current method of obtaining DNA is scrubbing items with swabs, and though we have yielded good results, this machine can process a larger area much more thoroughly which increases the chances of getting a full DNA profile.  If the DNA were left behind, this tool would recover it,” said Jennifer Smith, WCSO Crime Scene Specialist. 

By implementing this new collection method, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is being proactive in the growing field of forensic DNA and improving its overall capability to solve crimes. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office can now offer a distinctive service that is not currently available in the surrounding area.

K9 Rody’s Retirement

On Thursday, August 9, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will be celebrating K9 Rody’s retirement. The retirement ceremony will be hosted by the Austin Crime Commission.

The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, 508 S. Rock Street in Georgetown. 

K9 Rody served Williamson County from 2013 – 2018. During his service, Rody had hundreds of deployments over his career resulting in the seizure of millions of dollars’ worth of narcotics and millions in drug-tainted currency. Some of Rody’s top narcotic seizures include a traffic stop yielding 500 pounds of marijuana hidden in a big screen TV, 24 kilos of cocaine concealed in car batteries and over 400,000 dollars of cartel money from a commercial bus hidden in a lead-lined false wall.

He was a gifted tracker, successfully tracking over 50 suspects and missing endangered persons, five of which resulted in bite apprehensions of criminal suspects. His presence motivated countless suspects to surrender without incident.

Cruelty to Livestock

On July 18, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Livestock Unit received a complaint regarding the neglect of numerous cattle at 19000 block of W. SH 29 in Liberty Hill, a property of roughly 180 acres that extends into Burnet County. 

Upon arrival, deputies observed a “boneyard” with carcass looking like remains of approximately nine head of cattle. On July 31, deputies returned to a nearby property where they observed seven head of cattle that were visibly drawn and emaciated. One cow was trapped under a barbed wire fence and did not have the strength to get up.

Child Endangerment

On July 28 at approximately 7:18 p.m. Williamson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for service regarding an abandoned child at a splash pad in the Paloma Lake subdivision. Upon arrival, deputies located a 2-year-old boy without a parent/guardian. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a male leave the child at the splash pad unattended.  The male then left the pool parking lot after crashing into a handicap sign on the sidewalk. 

After several hours, detectives were able to identify the child’s parents, but only with the help of social media. Once the child’s picture was posted on social media, one witness called 911 with information identifying the parents.  Detectives were able to locate the father at his residence.

Richardo Cardenas was arrested and charged with Child Endangerment.  

The child’s mother was out of town during the time of the incident. CPS took the child into custody until his mother was able to pick him up. CPS released the child to his mother on July 29.

Animal Cruelty

On July 24 at approximately 10:30 p.m. the WCSO Animal Control Unit responded to a call for service at the 600 block of PVR 914 in Georgetown. Upon arrival deputies and Animal Control located a total of 52 animals. The animals range from dogs, cats, chickens, peacocks and birds. A total of 14 animals were deceased. Four dogs and two cats were found decomposing inside the house in locked crates, the rest were deceased chickens and ducks in the backyard. 

A total of 38 animals were rescued and taken to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter where they are currently being cared for. 

An arrest has not been made at this time. 

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