APNewsBreak: Old Detroit Rape Kits To Be Tested

Published February 15, 2012 10:54PM (EST)

DETROIT (AP) — More than 1,000 once-forgotten rape kits that were part of a trove found in a Detroit police property storage facility are expected to be reviewed and possibly tested for DNA in crimes dating to the 1980s, a state police official said Wednesday.

DNA found in the kits that doesn't belong to the rape victim will be loaded into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System — or CODIS — to search for matches that could lead to arrests, State Police Director of Forensic Science John Collins told The Associated Press.

The kits are part of more than 11,000 found in 2009. Nearly 10,000 rape kits still await possible review.

State police, Detroit police, the Wayne County prosecutor's office and researchers at Michigan State University are reviewing the cases to determine which ones could result in charges. An outside lab will do the testing.

DNA from the Detroit kits will be run against other current DNA samples in CODIS and remain in the system as new samples are uploaded, Collins said.

"When the accumulation of rape kits was discovered, no one knew what the disposition of the kits were," Collins said. "You had this big bulk of evidence. These go back into the 1980s. It reaches back into a period of time when DNA testing was not very prolific."

State Police found boxes of the kits during an inspection in 2009. A year earlier, the state police took over the Detroit crime lab after it was determined that firearms cases had been improperly handled.

By Salon Staff

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