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DNA Testing of Unidentified Remains

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is coordinating with medical examiners' and coroners' offices, the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Center for Missing Adults and law enforcement agencies to identify, collect and perform DNA analysis on unidentified remains and reference samples.

For more information, contact the Center for Human Identification at 1-800-763-3147 or missingpersons@unthsc.edu.

Guidelines for the Collection of Family Reference Sample DNA Kits

DNA Reference Kits

The University of North Texas Health Science Center - funded by the National Institute of Justice - developed two standardized collection kits. One kit provides a safe, effective, noninvasive means for obtaining the appropriate family-reference samples. A second kit provides for the collection, transportation and storage of human remains samples. These kits were developed in conjunction with groups such as the FBI Laboratory, the National Association of Medical Examiners, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Center for Missing Adults.

For more information, contact the Center for Human Identification at 1-800-763-3147 or missingpersons@unthsc.edu.

The DNA Initiative - Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology

DNA technology is increasingly vital to ensuring accuracy and fairness in the criminal justice system. DNA can be used to identify criminals with incredible accuracy when biological evidence exists, and DNA can be used to clear suspects, exonerate persons mistakenly accused or convicted of crimes, and solve missing and unidentified persons cases.

To increase the use of DNA technology in the criminal justice system, a five-year initiative worth more than $1 billion was launched on March 11, 2003, to improve the use of DNA in the criminal justice system. The initiative calls for increased funding, training and assistance - to Federal, State, and local forensic labs; to police; to medical professionals; to victim service providers; and to prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges - to ensure that this technology reaches its full potential to solve crimes, protect the innocent and identify missing persons. This initiative - Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology - has the following goals:

  • Eliminate the current backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples and biological evidence for the most serious violent offenses - rapes, murders and kidnappings - and for convicted offender samples that need testing.
  • Improve crime laboratories' capacities to analyze DNA samples in a timely fashion.
  • Stimulate research and develop new DNA technologies and advances in all areas of the forensic sciences.
  • Develop training and provide assistance to a wide variety of criminal justice professionals about the collection and use of DNA evidence.
  • Provide access to appropriate post-conviction DNA testing of crime scene evidence not tested at the time of trial.
  • Protect the innocent.

Another important goal of the DNA Initiative is to help ensure that DNA forensic technology is used to its full potential to solve cases involving missing and unidentified persons by providing:

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)

Information on Missing Persons from NCJRS

Information on Missing Children from NCJRS

National Crime Information Center (NCIC)