By David Knopf/Richmond News
Richmond Police say they are investigating a pair of alleged rapes that occurred three weeks apart but apparently are not related.
Police Chief Chad Burnine said Friday the department had transported physical evidence from both cases to a Highway Patrol crime lab in St. Joseph and has begun what could be a long wait for the results.
Since the testing involves the analysis of DNA, it was to be transferred to the Patrol’s lab in Jefferson City, Burnine said.
DNA testing can take as long as a year to two, although Burnine said the department recently received results from a sample submitted nine months ago.
Possible suspects have been identified in each of the cases, Burnine said, but the department will not request a review of possible charges by the prosecutor until its investigation is complete.
“We are handling the cases appropriately, but we don’t want to hurt our case before we submit it to the prosecutor,” said Burnine. “We’re extremely busy, but rapes like this are at the top of our list.”
Burnine said as of Friday his department had logged 191 reports in August, compared to 165 for the same period a year ago.
Burnine said the families of the victims are understandably upset by the nature of the crimes and discouraged by the pace of the investigation. But unlike television detective shows, he said the process of gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and receiving results from the crime lab all take time.
“There’s a proper way to handle evidence processing and that’s what we want to do with this,” he said.