Kentucky State Police apply for $1.8 million grant for untested - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky State Police apply for $1.8 million grant for untested rape kits

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Megan Dillery Duff, one of 14 KSP forensic biologists at the state crime lab in Frankfort, shows the process of testing a rape kit. Megan Dillery Duff, one of 14 KSP forensic biologists at the state crime lab in Frankfort, shows the process of testing a rape kit.
There are more than 860 untested rape kits at the state crime lab In Frankfort and KSP is hopeful that with more grant money, those could be processed. There are more than 860 untested rape kits at the state crime lab In Frankfort and KSP is hopeful that with more grant money, those could be processed.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky State Police are asking for nearly $2 million in grant money to help with a backlog of rape kits.

There are more than 860 untested rape kits at the state crime lab In Frankfort and KSP is hopeful that with more grant money, those could be processed.

"The first thing we're gonna do is bleach down the work area," said Megan Dillery Duff, one of 14 KSP forensic biologists at the state crime lab in Frankfort.

Tuesday afternoon she showed us the process of testing a rape kit using a sample.

"That tells us that it is confirmatory for blood," she said while spraying liquid onto a cotton swab.

Analysts look for things like blood, semen and saliva and if a test is positive, DNA testing could take a few more weeks. That’s just for one rape kit, not to mention the fact that it gets a second and third review.

Rape kits account for about 30 percent of what’s tested at the crime lab.

Right now, there are 869 untested rape kits. The kits have been in evidence rooms for years and never submitted by law enforcement agencies until the state auditor started counting them.

"We are trying to get those kits into the laboratory and get them analyzed," said KSP Laboratory Director Laura Sudkamp.

She says to prevent more back-log, KSP has applied for a $1.8 million grant to send untested kits to private companies for processing.

“We will order them by year of offense and then just ship them out,” said Sudkamp. “We get to ship out 350 a month. We expect there to be anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 kits."

Ninety-two analysts statewide process everything from firearms to blood and this extra grant money would help KSP catch up.

"Yes, it's frustrating, but it could be a lot worse," said Sudkamp.

Sudkamp says she hopes to find out about being awarded the grant, sometime in mid-September.

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