Audit finds nearly 5,000 rape kits in Missouri haven't been tested

Posted at 1:42 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 15:07:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An audit by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office showed there are nearly 5,000 untested rape kits in the state. 

According to a news release, the preliminary report indicates there are at least 4,889 untested sexual assault kits currently in the possession of law enforcement agencies, crime labs, and healthcare providers. 

The attorney general’s office said in a news release the data “demonstrates a clear need for additional funding to address sexual assault kit resources in Missouri.”

In April, the state legislature gave the Missouri Attorney General’s Office authority to apply for a $3 million federal Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant. The office applied for the grant and is working with stakeholders to develop uniform state practices for handling and processing of sexual assault evidence kits, according to the news release. 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced the audit in November 2017. According to the attorney general’s office, a constituent reached out to the office describing a sexual assault that happened nearly 30 years ago. At that time, a sexual assault evidence kit was collected, but it was never processed. The attorney general’s office said it had the kit tested, and the DNA returned a match to DNA in the system. The office is now working with law enforcement on that case. 

In conducting the audit, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office received information from 266 law enforcement agencies, 66 healthcare providers, and five crime labs. The office also met with stakeholders from across Missouri.