Only five states — Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Texas — require the testing of all rape kits, according to the Joyful Heart Foundation, which advocates universal testing. Nobody has any idea how many thousands of rape kits remain untested in police stations, partly because there is no national audit of them. Detroit found 11,341 untested kits in police storage. Memphis found 12,164. Milwaukee had 2,655. Tulsa, Okla., 3,783. In Seattle, one of the most progressive cities in the country, of the 1,641 rape kits collected between 2004 and 2014, only 22 percent were sent to a lab for testing.
“Primarily it’s raging incompetence that we find too often in police departments that we go into,” said Tom Dart, the Cook County sheriff, who has found untested rape kits in other towns besides Robbins. “It’s a combination of raging incompetence and just not caring.”