November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Ohio health officials say rape kits may be contaminated

CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Health has asked hospitals to stop using sexual assault evidence kits from a longtime provider because they could contaminated with DNA from someone involved in assembling them.

The Plain Dealer reports that hospitals have complained to the department about occasional problems with the kits, which have for years been assembled by a central Ohio company that employs developmentally disabled adults.

The company has assembled the standardized kits since the early 1990s. At that time, the DNA tests were less advanced and weren’t likely to pick up small traces of “touch” DNA.

State crime lab investigators discovered the contamination of the kits recently when trying to track down a common and unidentified DNA profile that showed up inside of five unrelated kits.