The Florida Department of Law Enforcement version of the federal missing person’s DNA database contains about 40 missing persons profiles and 50 to 60 DNA samples from relatives of missing persons, department official Sue Livingston told the Miami Herald. “The importance of such a database became very clear after 9/11,” she said. “The larger this database becomes, the more chance we have of identifying the remains of missing persons.” Last year, the U.S. Justice Department gave Florida $8.7 million to improve and speed up DNA identification.
The FBI is expanding its Missing Persons DNA Database, which last year had only a few hundred samples. The lab now has 207 samples of missing persons and more than 600 profiles of relatives who have reported missing loved ones. The federal agency’s Combined DNA Index System, called CODIS, has nearly 2 million DNA samples from convicted felons and evidence from crime scenes.