Missouri receives $2 million federal grant to continue SAFE Kit Initiative

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This Thursday, April 2, 2015 photo shows an evidence bag from a sexual assault case in the biology lab at the Houston Forensic Science Center in Houston. Legislators in more than 20 states are considering _ and in some cases, passing _ laws that include auditing all kits and deadlines for submitting and processing DNA evidence. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KOLR) – Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Thursday that his office received another federal grant to continue testing the backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

Schmitt says this $2 million grant will go towards sending untested sexual assault kits to the lab for testing.

The AG’s Office will also update its inventory of untested sexual assaults kits in police departments and hospitals to include kits collected from April 2018 to April 2020, as well as previously tested kits that may benefit from modern testing methods.

Schmitt says after the inventory update, around 900 additional untested sexual assault kits will be sent to the lab for testing. When his office got its first federal grant, it was able to send out 1,500 kits to the lab to be tested.

“Those kits were collected using regional shipping events, where a larger police department gathered kits from smaller neighboring departments to be shipped to the lab,” a press release says.

In September, Schmitt shared the results of those tests.

  • 51 came back from the Southwest Missouri area
  • Of those 51 returned tests, 16 are eligible for processing through the state’s Combined DNA Index System (or CODIS)
  • Of those 16 tests eligible for processing, 11 returned results linking back to an offender

“With this second round of federal grant funding, we will be able to continue this great work on behalf of victims across the state. Additionally, we will work with local law enforcement and prosecutors to investigate CODIS hits as they come in, and potentially prosecute those who are identified to get offenders out of the shadows and off the streets,” Schmitt said in a statement.

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