Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences: Disclosure of Incident Involving Blood Vials The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences (HCIFS) has informed the Harris County District Attorney’s Office (HCDAO) that a refrigerator used by HCIFS to store blood vials malfunctioned on December 24, 2019. The malfunction caused the unit to freeze the refrigerator contents. According to HCIFS, 347 blood vials broke from 298 affected cases and the blood within was lost. HCIFS further advised that (1) all of the affected cases were from calendar year 2017 and (2) testing had been completed for all cases and the laboratory reports were issued prior to the malfunction. The broken blood vials remain in storage at the HCIFS. The HCDAO is in the process of identifying the affected cases. The HCDAO will provide notice to the defense attorneys on all pending cases. Additionally, the HCDAO will send notice to the defendants and their last known attorneys of record on all disposed cases. The notices will also be filed with the court in each of the affected cases.