Houston Mayor Annise Parker has proposed a $4.4 million plan to have two private labs process more than 6,600 untested rape kits.
The Houston City Council next week is expected to consider finalizing contracts with two companies to help eliminate the Houston crime lab backlog of rape kits in about a year.
Parker on Wednesday announced police could ship the rape kits and DNA evidence from other cases, such as robberies, to Bode Technology Group Inc. of Lorton, Va., and Salt Lake City-based Sorenson Forensics.
Officials say the cost per kit will be roughly $400 - lower than the typical individual kit cost because the labs would be prepared for the large volume of Houston cases.
The private testing would be paid for by federal grants and city funds.