Database Wants Your DNA To Help Solve Missing Person Cases

There are about 1,100 missing person cases in Texas and an event Sunday at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth is hoping to help families take steps to solve them.

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is trying to help families impacted by the disappearance of a missing loved one.

NamUs is a national clearinghouse for missing person cases, unidentified victims, unidentified living individuals and unclaimed bodies.

NamUs provides data management, analytical support and forensic resources for missing and unidentified cases at no cost to investigating agencies and family members.

On Sunday, April 22, family members of a missing person are invited to bring any police reports, X-rays, dental information, fingerprint records or other documents related to their missing loved one for entry into the NamUs database.

They can also provide DNA samples that can be used in the search.

"We have had families log into NamUs, search and find their loved one, essentually resolving their own cases," says BJ Spamer, Director of Forensic & Analytical Services of NamUs.

The event is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 22 at UNT Health Science Center’s Medical Education and Training (MET) building, 1000 Montgomery St., Fort Worth.

Nationally, there are 13,000 missing persons in NamUs, including the sister of Rusty Arnold of Fort Worth.

Rachel Arnold Trlica, 17, and two friends disappeared the morning of Dec. 23, 1974 the then Seminary South Shopping Center in South Fort Worth.

The story is documented on MissingTrio.com.

Arnold has been looking for his sister ever since.

"What happened that day in 1974, two days before Christmas?" he still wonders.

He holds hope that NamUs may be able to help him find answers.

"Hopefully, we can bring our girls home and give them a proper burial.  43 years is a long time," says Arnold.

Currently, there is no federal manadate for law enforcement agencies to put missing person cases in NamUs, however, five states have laws requiring agencies to use it. 

Texas is not one of those states.

MORE: UNT Health Science Center - NamUs

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