Louisiana State University’s Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services – FACES – is at the forefront of a national push to bring names to the thousands of unidentified remains sitting in coroners’ closets and sheriffs’ evidence rooms across the USA, reports USA Today. In 2007, the Justice Department launched an online database that links coroners’ offices and law enforcement agencies all over the country and allows the public to peruse clay and computer-enhanced renderings of unidentified persons.
States like Texas, California, Louisiana and Kentucky are bolstering their unidentified victims databases and sharing the information across the country. The government estimates there are between 15,000 and 40,000 sets of unidentified remains in coroners’ offices across the country. These cold cases often go unsolved for decades. Even with new technology, the cases are difficult; The FACES lab has identified four in the past two years. But the forensic work is one of the few rays of hope to solve many cases.