Two cases illustrate how NamUs can aid investigators
NamUs.gov exceeds a combined 15,000 missing and unidentified persons cases — user number surpasses 10,000
Last month the number of cases in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System’s (NamUs.gov) two databases reached a combined total of more than 15,000 and the number of registered users has grown to 10,000. To date, NamUs is credited with resolving 120 of the missing and unidentified person cases in its databases. What’s most impressive about these numbers is that this has all happened in a little more than two years.
The exponential growth of NamUs since its launch in January 2009 illustrates the true potential of this system. In 2009, the number of missing person cases in the system doubled, and last year they nearly tripled. This continued growth is critical because with more cases in the system, more cases can be solved and more families can get the resolutions they have been seeking for so long.
More than two-thirds of the 10,000 registered NamUs users are members of the general public. The balance are death investigation professionals such as coroners, medical examiners and law enforcement officers. The missing persons database contains 7,557 entries and the unidentified persons database has 7,938 records.
Then in 2008, Mr. Norman’s case was entered into NamUs, and he became Missing Person (MP) case #829. In 2011, the Michigan State Police began entering their unidentified cases into NamUs, and the unidentified man found in Lake Erie became Unidentified Person (UP) case #8484. As soon as the UP case was entered, the NamUs automated cross-matching feature flagged UP #8484 and MP #829 as a potential match.
The two cases had similar features — specifically missing teeth, a skull injury and the type of clothing Mr. Norman wore when he was last seen. The medical examiner ultimately made a positive identification of Ronald Newman. This was the first resolved case as a result of the NamUs automated cross-matching feature.
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