By SUMMER BALLENTINE
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Attorney General's Office says it hopes to determine by early next year how many untested rape kits are on shelves in Missouri.
Attorney General Josh Hawley's Deputy Chief of Staff, Loree Anne Paradise, says the office is now working with advocacy groups and others interested in the issue to find the best way to determine how many kits haven't yet been tested.
Rape kits contain DNA samples and other evidence secured during medical procedures conducted immediately after an attack. They can be used by law enforcement and prosecutors to catch and convict rapists.
Jennifer Carter Dochler of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says the audit is a needed first step. She says it's also critical to find out why kits go untested.