Utilizing current DNA sampling technology in conjunction with local agency missing person reports, law enforcement officials have the ability to identify or link missing person cases or unidentified human remains.  Databases are linked to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's DNA index system, CODIS, (Combined DNA Index System) which enables the search to reach beyond states borders and compare samples of other missing persons or unidentified remains.  Through CODIS, DNA submitted by law enforcement agencies can be cross referenced against these samples, as well as other available indexes to solve cases involving missing loved ones.  Once a missing person report has been filed with the local law enforcement agency, a family may be asked to submit personal articles belonging to the missing person, or several family members may be asked to volunteer their own DNA samples.  The local law enforcement agency will use a specimen collection kit to collect these family reference samples and submit it to the states DNA database.  The DNA results from these submissions will be entered into a database and routinely compared to the DNA results obtained from unidentified human remains.

To establish a DNA profile for a person, a standard sample is necessary.  This is typically an oral swab or a blood sample taken directly from that person and it represents a "known" source of DNA.  If a DNA standard is not available, then a secondary standard is to select an item that has had direct and prolonged contact with the person in question.  It is critical that the item is known to have been used exclusively by the person in question.  A family member** may be asked to volunteer his or her own DNA sample; which is entered into a Relatives of Missing Persons Index. 

RELATIVES of Missing Person
Biological Parents**
**Preferred relatives

KNOWN DNA STANDARD from Missing Person
Blood Sample
Oral Swab Sample
Biopsy Sample

Relatives of Missing Persons Index: includes results from DNA analyses of kindred family members of a missing person.
Missing Persons Index: includes results of DNA analyses on "known secondary standards* of the missing person.
Unidentified Human Remains Index: includes results of DNA analyses obtained from unidentified human remains.
Forensic STR Index: includes results from DNA analyses of forensic casework samples.  (Relatives of a missing person will not be searched against this index unless authorized by the family members.)
Offender Index:  includes the results from DNA analyses of convicted offender samples.


SECONDARY STANDARD from Missing Person
Used razor (electric or disposable)*
Used pacifier or baby bottle*
Cigarette butts
Lip balm or lipstick
Unwashed baby blanket (possible saliva present)
Unwashed clothing items that had direct skin contact, such as: underwear, socks, shirt, pants
Drinking glass or can
Used handkerchief or kleenex
*Preferred Items

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