Memphis Rape Kit Backlog Continues to Decline

The amount of untested rape kits in Memphis continues to decline.

During the Memphis City Council’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee meeting Tuesday, March 17th, it was revealed that 300 additional rape kits have been tested since last month.

Presently, 5,686 rape kits have received analysis or are at the forensic laboratory awaiting analysis. But another 5,846 kits remain untested. An additional 1,142 have been processed for serology (evidence of bodily fluids), but haven’t been sent off to a laboratory for DNA analysis. 

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) discovered 12,374 untested rape kits in late 2013 and early 2014. The sexual assault kits were reportedly taken as far back as 1975. 

The latest rape kit stats are below:

• 12,374 total rape kits discovered untested in 2013/2014

• 5,546 kits untested by end of February 2015

• 2,275 kits at forensic laboratories now

• 1,142 processed for at least serology

• 2,122 negative for serology

• 1,289 processed for DNA

• 375 investigations have been initiated

• 108 investigations remain active

• 267 investigations have been closed

• 36 individuals identified as being previously convicted

• 72 indictments issued

• 35 named suspects (20 multi-case suspects)

• 37 John Does (unidentified)

• 33 victims/suspects are deceased

• 39 victims declined to participate in an investigation

• 6 victims were unable to be located by law enforcement

• 54 cases were past the statute of limitations

• 23 cases had insufficient/degraded DNA

• 3 cases investigated did not meet the statute definitions of a crime

• 2 cases involved consensual partners

By Louis Goggans

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