A year ago, Oregon officials sent 2,800 untested rape kits — some from cases more than a decade old — to a Utah laboratory because the state couldn’t handle them all. About half of those have now been processed, but the state is now dealing with a new backlog of untested kits.
Forensic scientist Heather Feaman demonstrates the steps required to process DNA collected from a sexual assault evidence kit on Thursday, May 25, 2017, at the Oregon State Police Forensics Services Division in Clackamas, Oregon. no real evidence was used in the demonstration.
Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal
In fact, the number of untested new kits has quadrupled in the past two years.
As of April, Oregon State Police reported a backlog of 884 newly submitted sexual assault forensic evidence kits, or SAFE kits, up from 216 in January 2016, according to OSP SAFE kit summaries.
“I don’t know why it’s increasing, but agencies are obviously submitting more,” said Bill Fugate, OSP public information officer.
Read more at the Statesman Journal.