NamUs Media Contact:

Todd Matthews
Director, Case Management and Communications
J.Todd.Matthews@unthsc.edu
Phone: 817-408-6723


For Immediate Release - November 6, 2017

NamUs Fingerprint Collaboration with FBI Leads to Over 200 Hits to Unidentified Persons

FORT WORTH, TX – A collaboration between the National Institute of Justice's National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Latent Print Unit has resulted in hits to 206 unidentified person cases in less than eight months.

In February 2017, the NamUs Fingerprint/AFIS Unit and the FBI Latent Print Unit initiated a project to ensure that all fingerprint images submitted to NamUs for unidentified decedents are searched through the FBI's Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. NGI incorporates advanced fingerprint identification technology to improve the matching algorithm, search accuracy, and likelihood of locating matching fingerprint records in the system.

The collaborative effort began with NamUs fingerprint examiners reviewing and securely transmitting 2,184 individual fingerprint images representing 1,465 unique unidentified person cases to the FBI Latent Print Unit. Searching of NGI began in March 2017 and to date, fingerprint hits have been made to unidentified decedents found in 27 states, as shown below. Fingerprint Map

Of the 206 hits to date, the unidentified persons were found deceased between 1975 and 2017. 92% of the decedents were male and 8% were female.

Case resolutions resulting from this project include:

  • A 1978 double homicide involving victims found in Arkansas and Missouri was renewed after one victim was identified, providing a new lead to the second victim’s identity.
  • A missing migrant was identified as a decedent found in Tennessee in 2015.
  • A missing man suspected of murdering his girlfriend in 1993 was identified as a decedent killed in a pedestrian-automobile accident in New Jersey that same year.
  • A decedent found floating in a Washington waterway in 2009 remained unidentified until 2017 because he was never reported missing.
  • A man missing from Colorado since 1986 was discovered to have drowned in a Hawaii waterfall one year after his disappearance.
  • A homicide victim found in 1986 in an abandoned house in California was identified as a juvenile who was never reported missing.

Agencies are encouraged to submit or upload their fingerprint images to NamUs for retention and continued searching against NGI for potential resolution, and to ensure that their fingerprint information is readily accessible for future comparisons. Visit www.NamUs.gov to register, enter a case, or view case information in NamUs.

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About NamUs

NamUs is a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed person cases across the United States. Funded by the National Institute of Justice and managed through a cooperative agreement with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas, all NamUs resources are provided at no cost to law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, allied forensic professionals, and family members of missing persons.

For more information, visit
www.NamUs.gov
or contact NamUs toll-free at
1-855-626-7600