A backlog of untested sexual assault kits could be cleared out by the end of the year.
The Department of Justice has been working to clear 6,350 kits that were never sent in for testing, some of which are more than 20 years old. Many of those kits were left sitting in police department or hospitals for a variety of reasons, such as testing was not needed to obtain a conviction or charges were not pursued.
After identifying 3,922 for testing, the state was initially working with a single private contractor to do the work. However, Attorney General Brad Schimel says the state has now signed a deal with two additional firms, Sorenson Forensics, in Salt Lake City, Utah and Marshall University Forensics Science Center, in Huntington, West Virginia, to help process the remaining potentially by the end of 2018.
Of the kits identified for testing, work is complete on 862 so far. Another 2,001 have been sent for testing at external labs.