On September 3, 1999, the State disclosed to the defense that "Yesterday [Sept. 2, 1999] the state was orally informed that a DNA typing request may have been made. The State is checking to confirm if such a test was in fact requested and if so seeing if the results are ready."
Three weeks later, on September 24, 1999, the State provided another disclosure, this time stating that "the original request for DNA typing could not be processed because at the time of submission there was nothing to type; a new request has been submitted but the result s are not expected for 6 to 8 weeks." Subsequently, from late September through early November 1999, Melissa Stangroom performed a DNA test on the shirt found in Hae's car.
On September 28, 1999, Adnan's defense counsel wrote to the State, requesting clarification concerning the nature of these DNA requests:
This letter is in reference to your most recent disclosure of September 24, 1999. Your disclosure states that a previous request for DNA typing was made that could not be completed because there "was nothing to type". However, you now indicate that a new request has been submitted and results are expected within six to eight weeks. Does this "new" request mean that there is "new" evidence to be tested? We have not received notice of any such evidence. Please clarify as to what requests have been made both previously and presently. Specifically, what evidence has been submitted for DNA typing and comparison. Please also forward copies of all written requests for any analysis and identify the evidence and its location. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
On November 9, 1999, the State provided another disclosure concerning the DNA evidence, this time stating the following:
To date the only report the State has received from Melissa Stangroom, Forensic Chemist II, of the Maryland State Police Crime Lab is an oral report. On November 8 she informed the State that the last probe for her DNA testing should be developed by November 9, and that all formal discovery should be available on or about November 15, 1999.
According to the State, then, there was no DNA testing performed prior to late September, and therefore no apparent explanation for why Stangroom found the seals on Adnan's and Hae's DNA samples had been broken when she began her testing on September 27, 1999.
The phrasing of Kevin Urick's November 9, 1999 disclosure is oddly specific, however. Urick noted that, "To date the only report the State has received from Melissa Stangroom [ ] is an oral report." Gutierrez's question to the State asked about all DNA testing that had been performed. Why, then, did Urick answer by referring to what the State had received from a specific analyst? And does it leave open the possibility that the State had received other reports from analysts besides Stangroom? If so, that could explain why the seals on the DNA samples had been broken.