Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Long-forgotten rape evidence finally reveals its clues in Northern Virginia lab

By Monica Hesse, WashPost, June 16 at 9:26 PM

The trucks keep arriving from all over the country at an office park in Northern Virginia, each containing hundreds of envelopes marked with one word written on red tape: “Evidence.”

Just after 9 on a weekday morning, Kim Freeman pulls her hair back from her face and walks from her cubicle to a large storage room. “I’m here for the two,” she tells a desk attendant.

Two envelopes. She put them on reserve the day before, and now she scans one to make sure the contents label is correct. “Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit,” it says.

Another day has begun at the Bode Technology laboratory in Lorton. Another slow excavation of a national problem.

The problem is a backlog of untested rape kits, tens of thousands of them, each representing an alleged assault. In every case, evidence was collected from victims after their attacks, but it was never analyzed. Instead it sat on shelves for years, even decades.

(More here.)

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