A new program has begun to show results in matching unidentified remains with missing persons, reports USA Today. The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (www.NamUs.gov) began last year and so far is credited with solving 17 cases, spokeswoman Michele Money-Carson says. The concept began with medical examiners, who called for a nationwide system in 2005 to provide a comprehensive site to help identify missing people, says Kevin Lothridge, CEO of the National Forensic Science Technology Center.
The Largo, Fla.-based center partners with the U.S. Department of Justice. It cost about $1.8 million to operate last year. NamUs essentially has two sets of information. The first is known details of missing-person cases around the nation provided by law officers and relatives of the missing. The other is a database of unknown human remains in morgues across the country; details are entered by coroners and medical examiners. It allows one-stop sleuthing for amateurs, families and police. Anyone can search and enter data they have on a missing person. Medical examiners can enter data on unidentified bodies, and anyone can search the database for potential matches