JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of untested sexual assault kits from Kansas City are in the process of being tested for DNA.

The 226 kits are part of the backlog reported by the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office shipped the kits to a lab at Marshall University for testing. Another 300 kits were shipped to the same lab for testing in August.

The AG’s office said the 500 kits that are currently being tested clears about half of the backlog reported by Kansas City police.

The backlog of untested sexual assault kits has been an issue across the state of Missouri for years.

In 2015, a FOX4 investigation uncovered more than 1,300 untested rape kits in storage at the KCMO Police Department. In 2018, an audit by the Missouri Attorney General’s office found 5,400 untested kits across the state, but a retired judge said the number could be much higher.

There are many reasons behind the lack of testing according to law enforcement. Sometimes it’s a lack of funding while another reason could be that the accused suspect agreed to a plea bargain.

A $2.8 million grant in 2019 was used to test some of the thousands of backlogged sexual assault kits. The remainder of the grant is being used to develop an electronic tracking system, something the AG’s office said it continues to develop.

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