Memphis city council receives update on rape kit backlog

Investigations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police say it will remain busy over the next few years, as it continues to sort through evidence from the rape kit backlog.

We found this out on Tuesday, when the council received an update for the first time is more than a year.

“Today we have two codis matches that we are currently investigating”

Memphis Police stood before a city council committee on Tuesday morning and gave an update on where its rape kit backlog stood. This all started in 2010, when WREG uncovered more than 1,200 kits dating back decades were just sitting in evidence rooms collecting dust

MPD then vowed to send every kit to a lab and provide updates to the council every month until April 2019.

The council suddenly stopped the updates which made it harder for victims and the public to know what was going on.

MPD said this backlog is far from over. Additionally MPD said that some evidence was sent back to labs for additional testing.

Its investigators continue to sort through the results and assigned about 150 cases to detectives each month. So far, they’ve launched nearly 7,500 and of those, 392 remain active.

There have been 711 indictments and 305 are named-suspects. And there are four trials are scheduled this month.

The council asked MPD to give another update in six months. In the meantime, we asked the new chief of police if she’s opposed to giving more frequent updates on the backlog. 

“We will provide what information we can. currently, there are certain limitations that are pending so we can’t comment too much on that. Thank you.”

A new law in tennessee will require the state to give a tracking number to each rape kit as it’s taken, so victims can track their cases themselves.

The council says it wants more information on how that will work at the next update.

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