On Saturday, April 9, 2016, J. Todd Matthews, the Director of Case Management for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) was on Crime Talk, WRCN 103.9 FM. Todd spoke to the host of Crime Talk, Joe Giacalone and discussed NamUs as an investigative tool, how families can use it and what is the future of NamUs 2.0.
According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), there are about 85,000 missing persons at any given time in the United States. Todd provided statistics for unidentified human remains – over 40,000 at the moment. NamUs is the only system of its kind that not only allows law enforcement, medical examiners / coroners to input information on missing persons, but the public as well. The system is designed to accept the following information / data:

  • DNA
  • Fingerprints
  • Dental Records
  • Photographs
  • Case Investigator Information

When information is added into NamUs, it is cross-referenced with existing data to determine if there are any “hits.” That’s is what makes the system so unique. For instance, a family member in Colorado can submit DNA for free through a special kit that is sent to their local police department. That DNA profile is submitted into the system. A medical examiner in Connecticut submits DNA from unidentified human remains five years later and gets a hit.

NamUs 2.0 with new user features will be rolling out in the next few months, including the ability to enter data in case of a mass casualty incident, also known as a critical incident. NamUs provides free DNA kits (sent to your local police department) as well as free experts in forensic dentistry (Odontologists) and anthropologists (bones).

The information in NamUs is only as good as the information inputed by law enforcement, medical examiners and the public. Like the old saying in account, GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.

To learn more about NamUs