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Thursday, August 11, 2011

National Missing and Unidentified Persons System: CQI Selected As Victim Advocate


Although electronic data systems exist for information about missing and unidentified deceased persons, there are many such databases and federally operated ones such as the National Crime Information Center that are not readily accessible to, or searchable by persons such as medical examiners, coroners, and other members of the public who need the information.  The establishment of the web-based, public accessible National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (namus.gov) for both unidentified deceased persons (UID) and assumed alive missing persons (MP) has established, for the first time, a “One-Stop” data-system for all “participants” in the investigation of missing and unidentified deceased persons.  Wide-spread use of this system could facilitate the location of missing persons who have died and the identification of deceased persons whose names and identities are unknown.


Child Quest International Director of Programs & Outreach, Anthony Gonzalez, has been nominated and selected to attend the NamUs Training Academy being held August 21-24, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA.  With almost seven years experience working with missing children and left-behind families, Anthony expressed his delight to be selected as the Victim Advocate Representative for NamUs.  "It's an honor to be the victim advocate for the missing and unidentified. With the NamUs database, we are going to be able to help a lot of families who are looking for answers," said Anthony.  

The victim advocate representative must be a member of at least one of the “recognized” not-for-profit state or national missing person’s organizations (e.g., DOE Network, NCMEC, etc.).  Individuals are chosen based on a proven track-record of professional conduct while working with the many “participants” in the investigation, location, and identification of missing persons.  As the victim advocate, Anthony's primary responsibilities will be to support NamUs by:

          - performing basic case clean-up in UID Crosswalk
          - verifying cases awaiting publication to NamUs
          - serving as a NamUs resource for victim families
          - serving as a NamUs resource for other advocate agencies within state jurisdiction
          - presenting at state and local missing persons conferences

The ultimate goals of a program like this is promoting and facilitating of consistent data collection and sharing protocols along with an understanding of the potential benefits associated with solving missing and unidentified person’s cases nationally. 

Child Quest International is proud to support this ongoing goal.

More information on NamUs:

The Unidentified Persons Database contains information entered by medical examiners and coroners. Unidentified persons are people who have died and whose bodies have not been identified. Anyone can search this database using characteristics such as sex, race, distinct body features and even dental information.

The Missing Persons Database contains information about missing persons that can be entered by anyone; before it appears as a case on NamUs, the information is verified. NamUs provides the ability to print missing persons posters and even map out possible travel routes in a search for a missing person. Other resources include links to state clearinghouses, medical examiner and coroner offices, law enforcement agencies, victim assistance groups and pertinent legislation.
When a new missing persons or unidentified decedent case is entered into NamUs, the system automatically performs cross-matching comparisons between the databases, searching for matches or similarities between cases.

NamUs also provides free DNA testing and other forensic services, such as anthropology and odontology assistance.

[Source: www.namus.gov]

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