Va. Beach rape kits get hits in CODIS DNA database
NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Rape victims in Hampton Roads are one step closer to justice.
13News Now has uncovered the results of newly-tested rape kits from some of our local police departments, and they match suspects in the national database.
Some of the victims in these cases have been waiting for test results of their rape kits for decades. We now know evidence from 14 of the kits sent from Virginia Beach Police matches profiles already in CODIS.
Original Report: Untested Rape Kits
It could be a shred of evidence: a small blood stain, finger nail scrapings, semen and evidence taken from the bodies of rape victims. Even the smallest shreds of that evidence from the 344 kits Virginia Beach Police sent to the Bode Lab for testing will help detectives move cases forward.
“Seeing that there are matches means that we are helping survivors when they seek justice,” said Attorney General Mark Herring, whose office spearheaded the effort to test the backlog of rape kits throughout the Commonwealth.
Virginia Beach Police wrote in an email, “We have received 14 profiles that match profiles existing in CODIS."
“The fact that we've got 14 identified just points to how important it is that we do this,” Herring responded when we brought him the new information.
CODIS contains millions of offender DNA profiles gathered from other crime scenes.
“Sexual violence is very often a serial offense,” Herring explained. “Rarely is it committed just one time.”
Since there were matches to profiles already in the system we wanted to know, had these kits been tested earlier, could other rapes have been prevented?
“You know, it's probably too soon to tell,” Herring answered. “Testing these kits will really help us link known perpetrators to additional acts of violence and may identify unknown perpetrators, as well.”
But just because there is a match, doesn't mean there'll be an immediate arrest. Police said the cases are being re-evaluated in light of the new information and "while some investigations remain underway, these cases have yet to result in an arrest."
“It's going to be worth it,” Herring added. “It is really important for survivors all across the state for them to know that their state is going to be relentless in pursuing justice.”
Virginia Beach Police also wrote they are committed to announcing any arrests made as a result of these case reviews.