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A year ago, Oregon officials sent 2,800 untested rape kits — some from cases more than a decade old — to a Utah laboratory because the state couldn't handle them all. About half of those have now been processed, but the state is now dealing with a new backlog of untested kits.

In fact, the number of untested new kits has quadrupled in the past two years.

As of April, Oregon State Police reported a backlog of 884 newly submitted sexual assault forensic evidence kits, or SAFE kits, up from 216 in January 2016, according to OSP SAFE kit summaries.

"I don’t know why it's increasing, but agencies are obviously submitting more," said Bill Fugate, OSP public information officer.

Katie Suver, the Marion County Deputy District Attorney, said the increase is explained by a new state law requiring testing of all untested SAFE kits in the state, which includes old, untested kits that have been shelved in law enforcement agencies.

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