National database holds event to help find missing people

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – NAMUS, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, held its first event in the area called Knox County Missing Persons Day on Saturday.

“It’s an opportunity for families to come in,” said Amy Dobbs with the Database. “They can provide DNA Family reference samples, they can provide images, case related information, medical records. It just gives us a chance to meet with them.”

According to its website there are 459 missing persons cases in Tennessee in the NamUs system with 258 of those still open.

Previous Story: Tennessee’s missing children 

House Bill No. 44 went into effect on July 1. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to enter cases and submit all case related information on missing or unidentified persons into the NamUs system within 30 days of the original report if the case is still active.

“No family should have to wait to get an answer,” said Amy Dobbs. “That’s hopefully going to help that family get that answer much quicker. Plus if it is a homicide case, every little second counts.”

Local medical examiners say they are glad for the partnership.

“If there are unidentified persons or there are some missing individuals that have already entered in their system, then we don’t waste valuable time,” said Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, Chief Medical Examiner for Knox County. “We can match the individuals correctly and accurately at a much faster pace than it used to be.”

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