HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WVEC) -- Authorities sent more untested rape kits from to Hampton Roads area to be examined in a lab in Northern Virginia.
This is new information in our investigation about ending the backlog of over a thousand untested rape kits in our area.
The results from a rape kit could hold the key to getting predators off the streets. For victims, testing the kits brings them one step closer to finding justice. Some victims have been waiting for decades.
13News Now requested an update on the untested kits from Attorney General Mark Herring. His office spearheads the project to end the backlog of untested rape kits in Virginia. The project began around the same time 13News Now began it's initial investigating.
“It's important that every single case gets a fresh look,” Attorney General Herring said Thursday.
So far, Hampton Roads police departments have sent 532 untested kits to the Bode lab in Northern Virginia.
Out of the 89 kits Chesapeake Police to the lab, 83 of them have processed. So far, four of the new profiles have been entered into the databank.
Portsmouth sent 44 kits, and 11 of them have been tested. None of the 16 kits Suffolk Police sent have been processed, yet.
All 15 of Hampton's kits have been sent to the lab, but they have already been examined. York-Poquoson's four kits have also been sent, but haven't been tested, yet. It's the same situation for the three kits from James City County.
Local schools are also participating in the effort to end the backlog. Old Dominion University sent five kits, while both the College of William and Mary and Norfolk State had six kits. All of those still need to be tested.
“We are going to get as many kits as we can as quickly as we can, but it's also important to make sure that this is done right because the information that's gathered could be used in a criminal case,” Herring said.
Once the new profile is obtained from the kit, the information is entered into the national DNA databank to see if it matches a suspect. That information is then sent back to law enforcement to re-examine the case and notify the victim.
So far, there have been 87 matches statewide.
“Survivors are going to know that in Virginia we have turned the page on a time when maybe some of these cases weren't looked at with a seriousness that they should have been,” Herring said. “We are going to take every single case seriously. We are going to be relentless in going after perpetrators.”
Police departments in Norfolk and Newport News still have to send their kits to Bode. Herring said as soon as there is room at the lab, they'll send more kits from the remaining jurisdictions.
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