April 3, 2018 — NamUs legislation the key to solving “missing” and “unidentified” cases?

One central database? Would that speed the search for and identification of missing children. That’s the case Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Sarah Krebs of the Michigan State Police is making in her attempt to have the Michigan legislature move a bill that would require state agencies to work through the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). This is from an mlive story by Brad Devereaux:

But the public only hears about a fraction of them. 

Besides cases of an endangered person, which can trigger alerts to cell phones, missing person cases are made public only after an official missing report is filed and police submit case details to a public database, or otherwise publicize the case. 

That means while some missing people are featured on posters, displayed online and shared on social media, others are shelved in a folder at a local police department. 

If police departments were required to submit missing person cases to the U.S. Department of Justice’s public NamUs database, it could help them solve more of them, said Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Sarah Krebs of the MSP Missing Persons Coordination Unit. 

A bill making its way through the Michigan Legislature would do just that.

Legislation that passed the House 109-0 on March 1 would require police agencies to require reporting of certain missing cases to the federal database, including all missing children, immediately after they are reported missing.

It would also require details about unidentified bodies to be submitted to the database. 

“We need a more centralized database that the public can access,” Krebs said. “If NamUs was state mandated for all law enforcement, this database would be incredible.”

You can read the entire story here.

And you can visit the NamUs site here. If you have time, take a look at this little video.

Frankly, NamUs is what part of Delayed Justice wanted to be IF it grew up…only it’s better, has far greater reach, and is funded. So far it sounds like a better than good idea. Are there drawbacks? Does it mean just one more thank for law enforcement to tend to? Let’s hear from those who might be involved. Most officers of the law already do their best to reach out for leads. Most investigators I know already make use of NamUs. Is there a downside? If not, let’s go.



  1. margaret werderits, April 3, 2018:

    I think this is a good move. Sometimes police don’t seem to know about info from other jurisdictions and a central data base can clear that up. Unfortunately when I went to the GR Police dept. to file a missing person’s report so I could get DNA entered into NamUs when I was searching for my aunt, the officer at the window said he had never heard of the organization. Then they didn’t want to do the report because she had been missing for 60 years and did not want to act on it. All I wanted was to file the report which is required by NamUs in order to submit your DNA. A State Police Det. convinced them to take the report. Shouldn’t have had to haggle with them about simply taking a report. I think that more cases in the data base will lead to more solved cases as long as those who are looking for them submit their DNA. It’s a good tool for matching up people with unidentified persons. And yes I found my aunt, she had died in Chicago in 1967.

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