Daily Archives: June 29, 2015

Untested Rape Kits: State Budget Earmarks $300,000 for Backlog

DNA HelixLAKELAND | Although Gov. Rick Scott slashed more than $460 million from the 2015 Florida budget, Specific Appropriation 1247 remained untouched.
SA 1247 provides $300,000 in recurring general revenue funds to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement “to conduct a statewide audit of rape kits that have not been analyzed, including both kits that have been submitted to a laboratory for analysis and those that have not been submitted.”

Law enforcement struggles with rape kits backlog

GATCSexual assault cases are breaking, or at least getting cracked, locally and throughout the nation as backlogged rape kits flood into labs for analysis.
In the Top of Utah, some of these untested kits date back over 15 years. Local police say they recognize the importance of getting tests out of storerooms and into crime centers for testing. But the road from local law enforcement agency to the state forensic labs remains rutted. Agency to agency, local methods for navigating the backlog barriers also diverge.

New law addresses rising death toll of unidentified border crossers

Justice ScalesMore than 1,000 immigrants have died in the Rio Grande Valley since 2005, the majority of whose bodies remain unidentified, because local authorities lack the resources to investigate their deaths and to extract their DNA.
But a bill signed June 22 by Gov. Greg Abbott tasks the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC) with establishing methods of extracting DNA and other forensic evidence from unidentified bodies found less than 120 miles from the Texas border.

Texas lab has helped ID remains here previously

Helix4Dixie Peters works in a lab that gives families peace of mind as she and her colleagues unravel the mystery of the unidentified dead. It’s a service that many people, even including police, don’t know about. But police departments from Manchester and New Britain have used the services of the lab, free of charge, to identify human remains, at times putting long-unsolved crimes to rest.