Category Archives: Backlogs

Illinois sees more than 30-percent reduction in state forensic backlog

On Wednesday, July 1 Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Brendan Kelly announced the State has achieved a 33-percent overall reduction in its biology and forensic DNA backlog.
Forensic backlogs are a challenge faced by crime laboratories across the country, explained Kelly. He said the state of Illinois is not exempt.

Washington lawmakers looking to change way, where rape kits are stored

OLYMPIA — In recent years, Washington, like many other states, has been overwhelmed with a backlog of untested rape kits. The state has invested millions of dollars to reduce the number of untested kits — which reached nearly 10,000 in 2015 — and hopes to eliminate the backlog by December 2021.

Bill to prevent another rape kit backlog passes a divided Wisconsin Assembly

A Republican bill aiming to prevent another rape kit backlog that includes provisions on school vouchers and undocumented immigration has cleared the Wisconsin state Assembly.

Nearly 40 Years After College Student’s Stabbing Death, Genetic Records Lead to a Suspect

For nearly 40 years, the murder of a college student, Helene Pruszynski, stumped Colorado detectives. The cold case languished for so long that all but one of her immediate family members had died.
But then on Thursday, Ms. Pruszynski’s older sister, Janet Johnson, got a phone call: A prosecutor said homicide investigators had made a breakthrough thanks to advances in genetic genealogy and dogged police work.

Kaul Pushes For Hearing On Sexual Assault Kit Bill

The bill in question would create a standard procedure for collecting DNA evidence in sexual assault cases in Wisconsin, with the hope being that this could prevent a backlog of sexual assault kits in the future.

County ready to prosecute old rape cases

Hawaii Island’s decade-long backlog of rape test kits have all been processed, and now it’s time to move onto the next step — investigating and prosecuting the cases.
Of the 189 test kits submitted for analysis, 47 had DNA profiles loaded to CODIS, the federal Combined DNA Index System database. Of those, 11 resulted in hits against known suspects, according to the state Department of the Attorney General.

Testing complete on thousands of Wisconsin sexual assault kits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Attorney General Josh Kaul says testing is finally finished on thousands of unanalyzed sexual assault evidence kits.
Kaul said Wednesday testing was finished on all 4,471 kits designated for analysis. The state Justice Department started analyzing the kits in 2016. Testing has resulted in a dozen criminal cases so far and at least one conviction.

Arkansas ahead of the curve in testing sexual assault kits

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — Thousands of sexual assault kits still need to be analyzed nationwide according to the latest data released.
As part of a sexual assault kit survey of all DNA laboratories in the country, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors estimated 98,022 kits still need analysis.
Kermit Channel also emphasized the state is ahead of the curve on testing kits. He credits legislation passed in 2019 which mandates a tracking system.

Maloney Hails Passage of Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s (D-NY) H.R. 777 – Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill was introduced with Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) in January.

Nome has test results from sex assault kits, some more than 10 years old. Now it must find a way to investigate the cases.

One hundred and fourteen sexual assault kits have been tested and returned to Nome Police Department through the Alaska Crime Lab Capital Fund Project.
Many of the returned kits need some type of investigation, but right now NPD said they don’t have the experienced investigators required to do that.

Kansas Authorities Announce Elimination Of 2,200 Rape Kit Backlog

Topeka, Kansas authorities announced Thursday that they are close to completing testing on a backlog of over two thousand rape kits that had gone unprocessed for years, according to the Associated Press.
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), 2,000 of the kits have already been tested, with the remaining 235 to be tested by the end of the month. Some kits date back decades, authorities announced Tuesday.

Despite DNA evidence, statute of limitations prevents prosecution of Ohio rape cases

Our exclusive three-month 5 On Your Side Investigation reveals how Ohio fails sexual assault victims. We uncovered dozens of cases that will never be prosecuted, despite compelling DNA evidence, because of Ohio’s current statute of limitations.

Sexual Assault Kit Task Force to use genealogical searches to track down ‘John Doe’ rapists

The Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force will pilot a project that uses a federal grant to do genealogical database searches to identify ‘John Doe’ rapists they have indicted based on DNA profiles found in rape kits.

Thousands of backlogged rape kits have been tested, with many yielding results, FDLE says

About 8,000 previously untested rape kits have been processed since late 2014 — resulting in nearly 2,000 DNA matches — as part of an effort to clear a backlog prompted by a lack of funding, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Friday.
The completed tests were part of a three-year project that followed an assessment in 2016 which found more than 10,000 rape kits had gone untested, leaving victims in the dark about their cases.

Congress urged to renew funding for DNA testing

Over the next 15 years, nearly 200,000 DNA matches have been made by a national database after samples were submitted because of the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program. But now that funding is set to expire, so Smith stood on a podium in Washington on Friday morning and pleaded with Congress to reauthorize the funding before the law expires Sept. 30.