UPDATE: Great news. We have received word that funds have been appropriated for the continuation of these very important programs. Thank you to everyone that reached out to their representatives regarding this matter!
Original Post: Texas EquuSearch has recently learned of some very deeply disturbing news. Because of funding, beginning January 1, 2021, the UNT Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) management and operation of the National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUs) will cease. UNTCHI will no longer be able to support NamUs stakeholders with any analytical or case support; victim services; system development; or new forensic services. The forensic services include: DNA typing (currently suspended), fingerprint examination, forensic odontology, and forensic anthropology (currently suspended). Effective immediately, NamUs will also be unable to support states that have passed legislation mandating the use of NamUs, including bulk data import needs.
Nationwide, there are as many as 85,000 active missing person cases at any given time. This means that thousands of people will remain unidentified, and the missing person’s family members will suffer a torturous anguish, never-ending grief, depression, and the eternal limbo of wondering where their missing family member is – and what happen to them. It will also leave a multitude of murder cases un-solved, because the deceased person can’t be positively identified. Instead of law enforcement investigators being able to identify a person reasonably quick, it will push many enforcement investigations around the country months, or years behind on identifying deceased persons.
NamUs is a unique organization that is priceless to our country’s law enforcement agencies, and the families of missing persons. We urge you to call, write a letter, or send an email the two individuals listed below, and express your concerns, and ask them why they are cancelling-out such a vital, and extremely crucial organization as NamUs to our country. Call your area Congressman and Senator, and let them know how necessary it is to keep NamUs organization funded. We can’t afford to not have it available to us. To learn more about these two outstanding organizations; please visit: www.untchi.org and www.Namus.gov
NIJ Director David B. Muhlhausen
Principal Deputy Attorney General Katherine Sullivan