Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says a review by his office found that there are close to 4,900 untested rape kits in the state.

Hawley on Thursday said that number likely is low because some agencies could not quantify how many kits they have.

Rape kits are a series of DNA samplings and other evidence secured via medical procedures conducted immediately after an attack. They can be used by law enforcement and prosecutors to catch and convict rapists.

Hawley’s office launched an audit of untested kits last November.

An attorney general’s report says at the current pace, it could take more than five years to test all the kits, not factoring in new kits submitted for testing.

Hawley says more funding and uniform protocols are needed to address the backlog.


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