Nearly 1,700 untested rape kits from a dozen San Diego County law enforcement agencies have been sent to an independent lab for testing, officials announced Tuesday.
Investigators have results from 1,344 kits tested over the last 17 months, according to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. They continue to upload the data into the FBI’s national DNA database, prosecutors said.
In addition to putting a dent in the local backlog of untested kits, they hope the results will lead to new investigation. Early results indicate that about 40% of the kits contained DNA foreign to the victim.
To date, about $1.1 million has been spent on the testing, prosecutors said.
The kits, District Attorney Summer Stephan said, “may contain powerful evidence that can speak on behalf of victims and prevent a future assault.” She added that she’s “committed to doing everything we can to solve their cases.”
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department submitted the largest number of kits, followed by the Escondido and Oceanside police departments.
The latest round of testing did not include any kits from the San Diego Police Department, which conducts its testing at its crime lab.
– City News Service
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