Dna Database Could Help Id Bodies
The California Department of Justice Missing Persons DNA Crime Lab will create a database to enable law enforcement to match the DNA of the state’s unidentified dead with DNA from missing residents.
State officials will use the preserved remains of unidentified bodies as well as exhume long-buried bodies to retrieve bone and teeth samples for comparison.
In cases where critical elements of identification are missing, the smallest portion of bone from a body can be used to determine DNA and possibly match that DNA to a missing person in the database.
State officials are optimistic the new database will be as successful as the database that matches convicted felons with evidence left at crime scenes of unsolved cases.
The lab faces a daunting challenge: The remains of some 2,100 unidentified bodies have been collected by California medical examiners and coroners over the past 40-plus years, while 3,100 high-risk missing persons cases have been recorded in the last 30 years, none of which have been solved because of the absence of a body or identification.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Scripps Howard News Service (05/06/03) .