DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Some sexual assault victims could soon get justice.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirms they have matched 10 of the state's previously untested rape kits to profiles already in the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, which is the national DNA database.
Those kits were just some of the more than 2,000 turned over to the GBI in recent months. Last summer when it was discovered that evidence was sitting on agency shelves across the state because of confusion over testing policies.
To tackle the problem, the GBI applied for a $1.8 million federal grant to help pay for a private lab to test the evidence. Since April the agency has shipped 200 kits to Sorenson Genomics, a DNA lab in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"Out of the 200 kits that we have shipped out for testing, we have received results back for 100 of those kits and out of those 100 kits, all the scientists reviewed the data and so far there are 10 confirmed hits to the CODIS database," said GBI Spokesperson Nelly Miles.
The process is time consuming because GBI scientists must certify the findings of the private lab.
"When the results come back, they go and review all of the data themselves," Miles explained.
The GBI has notified the prosecutors connected to those 10 cases about the new evidence. While 90 of the cases do not have current CODIS matches, that could change in the future.
"The information at least is there," Miles said. "The testing is complete so that down the road if that information was ever needed to be produced with a case, then it would be completed and in there as opposed to just sitting unworked."
Georgia's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council has formed a working group to come up with best practices on how to notify victims of their test results.