Category Archives: Backlogs

Duluth Police: All backlog sexual assault kits tested, investigations ongoing

DULUTH, MN– Around this time last year, the Duluth Police Department was in over their heads.
Duluth was being called the worst city in the state when it came to efficiently testing sexual assault kits with hundreds of kits, some dating back to 1993.
Now, more than a year later, the department has submitted all of its kits and we’re learning the results of the testing.

India’s state forensic labs expanding infrastructure on back of rising demand for DNA Testing

Led by Delhi and Maharashtra, India’s forensic laboratories have managed to reduce pendency of DNA testing cases by a 50 per cent national average. While Delhi has eliminated most of its case backlog, Maharashtra is upgrading facilities across regions like Aurangabad and Amravati as a response to the ever-increasing demand for DNA testing from law enforcement agencies and courts.

New DNA evidence solves 1982 cold case killing at Lake Tahoe

At a news conference in Reno on Tuesday, sheriff’s detectives, forensic scientists, and genealogists described a remarkable series of challenges they faced in piecing together evidence and tracing the extended family trees of hundreds of individuals based on DNA run through an online genealogy databased called GEDMatch.

5 years after rape kit backlog controversy, Salt Lake police celebrate ‘huge strides’

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly five years have gone by since the state of Utah and Salt Lake City made headlines for a backlog of hundreds of untested rape kits.
Now, after laws were passed at the state and city level to address the backlog, Salt Lake police are celebrating a cultural shift in how sexual assault reports are treated — and that their work has resulted in the identification of more than 100 suspects from the backlog.

DNA Detectives: Scientists combining forensics with genealogy break ‘unsolvable’ cases

(InvestigateTV) – Thanks to a breakthrough in how DNA is used, more than 1,000 collective years worth of cold cases across the U.S. have been solved in just the last nine months.
Police are teaming up with genealogists to track killers through their blood lines.

Her body was found with her baby, still alive, beside her. 47 years later, an arrest

Investigators in Johnston County announced an arrest in a murder case Tuesday that ran cold for almost 47 years.
Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell re-opened the investigation into the killing of Bonnie Neighbors in 2007. He called it the oldest cold case in Johnston County.

More than 20 states have shown interest in Idaho State Police’s sexual assault kit tracking system

Idaho continues to be a model across the nation in how sexual assault kits are tracked. More than 20 states have contacted the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab inquiring about the tracking system it uses, according to Idaho State Police’s 2018 Sexual Assault Kit Tracking report. Puerto Rico is adopting the system this week.

DNA testing helps clear city’s rape-case backlog

The District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police announced that as many as 65 open rape cases may be impacted following the testing of 1,574 previously untested forensic evidence collection kits, or “rape kits,” some dating back as far as the 1980s.
District Attorney Larry Krasner said on Thursday that he believes his office can proceed with prosecuting many new cases as a result of the evidence, including the cases against two men who allegedly committed rapes in 2000 and 2001.
Overall, the Criminalistics Unit of the police department’s Office of Forensics and Science has tested nearly 4,000 backlogged and new sexual assault kits.

Rape kit backlog forcing city to look outward, victims notified years later

Austin Police Department’s thousands of backlogged rape kits have been tested, but still need to be reviewed and entered into the Combined DNA Index Systems, the FBI’s national DNA database. While the Austin-area DNA lab is indexing DNA kits from the backlog, APD needs other labs to index the new cases that arrive each month.
Austin City Council approved four items last week to aid the Capital Area DNA Lab with preventing a future backlog of DNA kits and processing incoming cases.

FBI partnership puts dent in sexual assault evidence backlogs

The FBI calls it “one of the most difficult and complex issues facing our nation’s criminal justice system.”
Growing stockpiles of untested sexual assault evidence kits have been plaguing U.S. law enforcement for decades, and the FBI and the National Institute of Justice just wrapped up a massive, years-long partnership to hopefully make this problem a thing of the past.

Experts Call for Making DNA Testing Mandatory in Violent Crimes

New Delhi, Delhi, India: In a compelling debate on forensic DNA technology’s role in fighting crime, organised at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club–South Asia, forensic, legal, and policy experts attributed the rise in crimes against women in India to more reporting of cases rather than an extraordinary spike in violence.

Sex assault kit bill aims to end fear of victim-blaming, prevent case backlog

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) State legislators want new laws in Wisconsin to protect victims of sexual assault and ensure there’s never another backlog of untested rape kits.
Sexual assault kit testing was one of former state attorney general Brad Schimel’s big initiatives, pushing to have all untested kits submitted to a crime lab, then having the DNA of the offender entered into national DNA databases.

MD Hits DNA Milestone

Maryland has now recorded its 7000th positive hit on its DNA database.
State Police say the hit involved a case out of Charles County. It was part of a 2003 rape case.

What Testing Backlogged Sexual Assault Kits is Teaching Law Enforcement About the Crime

The effort to address a backlog of sexual assault kits nationwide has led to tens of thousands of long-shelved kits being tested over the last several years. The FBI Laboratory alone tested more than 3,600 kits in a four-year effort to assist state and local agencies.
The work being done to inventory and test the evidence kits is one part of the story. The other part is what has been discovered about the serial nature of many sexual offenders as thousands of cases are added into the FBI’s national DNA and violent crime databases.

Uncle Sam surrenders to growing backlog of crime lab DNA tests

Report says that “eliminating the nationwide backlog is not a program goal.”