Untested rape kits from Heartland police departments shipped off for testing

Untested rape kits in state custody

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Dozens of untested sexual assault kits have been shipped to a lab in Virginia for testing.

According to Missouri General Eric Schmitt, 40 kits were collected and shipped on from the Cape Girardeau Police Department and neighboring departments.

The shipping event took place on Thursday, May 28.

“We were honored to have had the opportunity to offer our department and its resources as the logistical host agency to further promote the completion of this mission," stated Corporal Orrin Hawkins of the Cape Girardeau Police Department. “It is extremely important to us, at the Cape Girardeau Police Department, that we exhaust all avenues of approach to determine the identities of the responsible perpetrators so that justice may prevail for victim(s) of sexual violence.".

The Attorney General’s Office said a lab in Virginia will process the results of the untested rape through the SAFE Kits Initiative.

SAFE Kits shipping events have also been held at police departments in Lee’s Summit, Grandview, Springfield, Columbia, St. Joseph, Blue Springs and Joplin and at the Camden and Cass County Sheriff’s Offices.

The SAFE Kits Initiative, funded by a grant administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, was launched by Attorney General Schmitt in January of 2019 to inventory all untested sexual assault kits in the backlog, create an electronic tracking system, and send those identified kits to a lab for forensic testing and potentially eventual prosecution.

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