Every 30 seconds someone in the U.S. disappears, an average of 850,000 persons per year. Of that number, approximately 105,000 remain as open cases, unresolved. There are also unknown numbers of unidentified deceased persons, with estimates as high as 50,000. With modern technologies, available resources and tools, more cases could be resolved. With law enforcement budgets slashed, available training and knowledge of these tools and resources remain out of the grasp of many agencies. Cases go unresolved, family members remain in pain needlessly, criminals go free, and the unidentified deceased are buried and even cremated, taking the answers with them, sometimes forever. The Department of Justice crafted model legislation which would give law enforcement, coroners, and medical examiners the necessary protocol and tools to correct this injustice. Efforts have been made to pass this legislation on a state by state basis, but this process has proven to be slow. Each day that passes without these procedures in place increases the number of missing persons who may never be recovered, and unidentified deceased persons who might never be named. The legislation provides law enforcement with a check list of information to acquire from the family of the missing person, databases and other resources to utilize, such as DNA analysis, and the new NamUs. Coroners and medical examiners are given procedures to report the unidentified deceased, and enter all available identifiers into national databases, such as fingerprints, dental records, and DNA analysis.
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