HOUSTON – The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences is investigating claims from a computer restore technician that a laptop bought at a surplus auction nevertheless contained info from the agency that provides clinical examiner and criminal offense lab services for the county.

The repairman, Johnny, who requested that we not use his past title, mentioned he not long ago obtained the 2009 Hewlett Packard computer from a client who asked him to refurbish it.

“She purchased it from a Harris County public auction,” Johnny stated.

Johnny reported he was surprised to come across the tough drive was nonetheless inside of the computer system and became alarmed when he found it appeared to comprise info from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

“There had been folders, data files, excel spreadsheets with DNA records, and notes about sampling results with circumstance figures connected,” he stated, describing what he noticed on the personal computer which he thinks was final utilized in 2015.


Johnny turned above the hard drive to IFS Monday afternoon. He mentioned even if the facts turns out not to be delicate in character, he’d somewhat authorities companies be safe and sound instead of sorry.

“The over-all problem is info safety. Usually, no facts ought to be specified out to the community when you sell a personal computer mainly because it’s not their facts,” he claimed.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has introduced an investigation and is examining the really hard drive.

A spokesperson for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences issued the adhering to assertion to KPRC 2:

Our present-day regular procedure for computer system surplus is to pull the really hard push completely out of the computer for destruction, to ensure no facts is unintentionally disclosed outdoors the business office. In addition, it would be strange for the information you have described to be on the challenging travel of a desktop computer system. It need to reside solely on the network. Offered that this computer is numerous decades previous, we really do not know why this approach wouldn’t have been followed in this case.


Presented the residual facts detailed below, we really don’t consider a existing person would be capable to obtain genuine DNA final results, victim info, or opportunity defendant information.

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