The Maricopa County, Az., Medical Examiner’s Office says a new addition to its Web site may give families closure and help authorities identify Jane or John Doe, reports the Arizona Republic. The office has started an “Unidentified Persons Search” that allows people to access information, including photos and composite sketches, on nearly 200 cases dating back to 1970. The Web site address is www.maricopa .gov/Medex.
Two people have been identified since the search’s launch: a man who was fatally struck by a car and a young woman who was found dead on a dirt road. Family members or friends were able to give names to the dead after logging on to the Web site. Medical examiners and missing-persons organizations across the nation have used similar sites. Authorities estimate that more than 40,000 bodies nationwide are unidentified, and about 6,000 unidentified cases have been placed in the National Crime Information Center database. A body is recorded as “unidentified” when it does not have photo identification with it and when no one is missing where the body is found. Extensive injuries or disfiguration could also place a body on the unidentified list.