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Tests Overdue: DPD Funded to Test Backlogged Rape Kits

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DALLAS – You know the saying ‘What’s done in the dark comes out in the light?’ Well the Dallas Police Department is hoping that will happen, now that they’re testing over 4,000 rape kits. Turns out they’ve been sitting in a warehouse for years. Some of these sexual assault kits date back almost 20 years. So much for speedy justice.

So why the heck did it take so long? Well, money. In Texas, any rape kit that’s not tested after 30 days is considered backlogged. And as cases piled up, apparently there just wasn’t enough money to test them.

The Dallas Police Department just got money from the state.

"Texas D-P-S received a grant ... around 4-thousand dollars to get these tested,” Sgt. Amy Mills of DPD said.

The grant will help identify and prosecute rapists who appear to have slipped thru the cracks. The good news is that a new Texas law allows cold cases back to 1996 to go forward if there is DNA evidence.

"We have identified 4,140 kits approximately," Mills said.

However, testing isn’t cheap. We’re talking $500 per kit – so do the math.

"We're going to provide 250 of the rape kits per month to a vendor laboratory,” Mills said.

The kits will be tested by Orchid Cellmark in Farmers Branch. It will take up to a year and a half to process all 4,000 cases to see if they can find a match. Here’s hoping the victims of this awful crime find a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

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