Camden County clears 44 rape kits through SAFE Kit Initiative

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 5:25 PM CST
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CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - Camden County Sheriff’s Office cleared 44 rape kits from its backlog. It is part of Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s initiative to clear shelves of backlogged rape kits.

”The first step was to do an inventory, and there were thousands and thousands of untested sexual assault kits scattered across the state. So we did that inventory with the first grant that we had created a database, you know, for victims and for law enforcement to track and then ultimately, when the phase we’re in now is to get those kits out and tested,” said Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

He also wanted to make sure the current rape kits were being tested.

”The (Missouri) Highway Patrol, they’re continuing to test the current kits that. If there’s an incident that happens now, they’ll handle those, we’re really dealing with that backlog, and one of the reasons we went out to the private labs outside of the highway patrol was to make sure we didn’t create a log jam there,”

Corporal Tiffany Blakely has been working to keep track of the kits and get them sent out.

”We also are a hub agency, and we collect the surrounding law enforcement agencies’ kits and send them for them to keep track of the chain of custody and everything with that,” said Corporal Blakely.

She says sometimes victims are not from the area.

”We have tourists that come and go back home and then later report a rape that has happened in our county and we would investigate and get the rape kit and proceed from there,” said Blakely.

Attorney General Schmidt says he owes it to the victim to get these tested.

”As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, I think it’s my job to make sure that we’re advocating for those victims so that they get justice,” said Schmitt.

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