On Thursday, Herring said in a statement that 1,770 kits collected before 2014 were processed, including kits that went untested for decades. As a result of the tests, 568 DNA profiles were added to CODIS, a DNA database supported by the FBI, the statement said.
The tests also helped criminal investigations, according to the statement, with 239 “hits” sent to authorities, including 144 hits that confirmed the identities of previously known suspects. At least 58 cases were reopened or are under review as a result of the effort, the statement said.
“This project has been a real catalyst for significant changes in the way sexual violence is investigated and prosecuted in Virginia, and the way that survivors are treated when they come forward,” Herring said in the statement. “This testing has helped expand our ability to identify and prosecute perpetrators, and our investments in training, infrastructure, and organization are making trauma-informed, survivor-centered practices the new norm.”
An additional 1,000 kits will be tested as part of the project, the statement said, and changes to Virginia law to ensure timely testing should mean the backlog will not return.