On Thursday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that the number of untested rape kits submitted to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) is now above 5,000.
According to the AG's office, by Jan. 1, 111 law enforcement agencies had submitted 5,215 kits for free testing as part of Attorney General DeWine's Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. More than 250 of those kits were submitted in December.
Forensic scientists with BCI have completed DNA testing on 2,546 of the rape kits, resulting in 837 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
"I am pleased that local law enforcement agencies continue to submit these kits for testing," said Attorney General DeWine. "The investigative information that can be gathered from testing these kits could be crucial not only in solving these rapes, but other crimes as well."
Earlier this week, Elias Acevedo Sr. was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Cuyahoga County for multiple rapes and two homicides committed in the early 1990s. The case, which was investigated by the FBI's Violent Crime Task Force and prosecuted by attorneys with Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty's office, was spurred, in part, after Acevedo's DNA was found on a 1993 rape kit submitted to BCI as part of the SAK Testing Initiative.
Attorney General DeWine announced the SAK Testing Initiative in December 2011 by offering free DNA testing to any law enforcement agency with untested rape kits in which a crime was believed to have been committed. Many of the kits submitted as part of the initiative are between one and two decades old.