The Sunflower State has completed its inventory of untested sexual assault kits, and found more than 2,000 untested kits.
Out of 384 police reporting agencies, all have cooperated in turning over their untested kits to the Kansas bureau of investigation.
The KBI hopes this initiative will help solve any ongoing investigations.
A stack of files in a small room at KBI headquarters, located on an assistant’s desk represented half of the untested rape kits in the state.
Katie Winsman works for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and is the executive officer leading the effort to collect all the untested rape and sexual assault kits in Kansas.
“We are definitely doing what we can to address the accumulation of those and then those submitted to the laboratory for testing”, said Winsman.
While the national number of untested kits across the country is a staggering 70,000, locally, Winsman said the accumulation is due to a number of things.
“Lack of agency policies, lack of resources both personnel and financial resources, lack of training and then lack of societal awareness.”
Winsman said these problems are being addressed by the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative program by the KBI to prevent future accumulation, and hopefully solve any cold cases.
“There is benefit to testing these kits both in the past and in the future because that gives us the opportunity to link cases together to identify serial sexual offenders and ultimately when we hold them accountable we prevent future victimization.”
The KBI said with the current funding it will take at least 2 years to complete all of the testing.