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Samples of DNA were collected without parental consent from students at a Sacramento, Calif., middle school in connection with the murder of an 8 th grade student who was found stabbed, strangled and beaten to death near the dugout of a local park. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department, which has been spearheading the investigation into the murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam, 13, said parental consent was not required in the DNA collection and interview of minors, several of whom were taken out of class during the day last week at Albert Einstein Middle School. "These are interviews, not interrogations," Sheriff's Deputy Jason Ramos told ABCNews.com. "They are all consensual. Once it's done, there is a mechanism in place for school administrators to notify parents."
There is nothing under California law that prohibits DNA collection of consenting minors, said John Myers, a professor at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. "I think the answer is, kids can consent, and if they consented and it was knowing and intelligent, [law enforcement] can do the search," he told the Sacramento Bee. Ramos said last week's DNA collection was not the first time detectives visited the school and that he expects they'll be back for more follow-up.