One of Our Latest Projects: The Ohio Rape Kit Survey

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We are happy to announce that we are part of a community project working with Rachel Dissell of The Plain Dealer. We are assisting in the collection of information from law enforcement agencies about the status of rape kits, also called sexual assault kits, in the state of Ohio. You can read more about the Ohio Rape Kit Survey Project here.

As of 2015, because of the work of Rachel Dissell, more than 100 rapists have been convicted.

A more recent estimate indicated that 600 suspects have been indicted.

Six hundred suspects is a staggering number. The potential exists for there to be many more indictments.

We have thus far focused our work at Chatham on unsolved murder cases and we will continue to do so, but Ohio Rape Kit Survey project has the very real potential of solving many unsolved and otherwise “cold” cases.

We are honored to be part of this project and plan to help in any way that we can.

Want to get involved in our work on campus? Contact us.

 

The Many Challenges of Tracking Missing and Unidentified Persons in the US

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The Crime Report highlighted some revealing statistics about missing and unidentified persons in the United States. For instance:

  • There are an estimated 40,000 unidentified human remains currently in existence with approximately 4,400 recovered every year.
  • Those figures don’t include victims who have been cremated or who have been placed in unmarked graves.
  • The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, also known as NamUs, serves as a highly useful clearinghouse for missing and unidentified individuals. One drawback to the system, however, is that reporting from law enforcement agencies is voluntary. Thus not all missing persons cases are contained within the database. This was highlighted in a recent posting by the administrator of The Charley Project who created a long list of cases of missing people who were not in the NamUs database.
  • NamUs is currently undergoing an upgrade that will allow expanded database exchanges between government agencies.

The Crime Report post was written by a group of individuals who co-founded a new think tank called Time to Address the Nation’s Cold Cases (TANC). You can read more about their efforts at this website.