NamUs Media Contact:

Todd Matthews
Communications and Outreach Manager
J.Todd.Matthews@unthsc.edu
Phone: 817-408-6723


For Immediate Release - July 8, 2013

Oklahoma Missing Person Cases Resolved with Joint Effort Between NamUs, the UNT Center for Human Identification

FORT WORTH, TX – Free resources provided by the University of North Texas (UNT) Center for Human Identification and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) assisted Oklahoma authorities in resolving three missing person cases in one week.

Howard Bennion was last seen in Eufaula, Oklahoma in May 2003. In December 2012, family members of Mr. Bennion were located and provided DNA samples which were then submitted to the UNT Center for Human Identification. At the request of Oklahoma authorities, a DNA comparison was performed between Mr. Bennion and skeletal remains that had been recovered in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma in November 2008. Based on the DNA comparison, a positive identification of Mr. Bennion was made by the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in June 2013. Anyone with information regarding the disappearance or death of Howard Bennion should contact the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office at 918-423-5858.

Charles Crowder was last seen in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 24, 2012. In March 2013, remains were found in Oklahoma City which were believed to be those of Charles Crowder. The Oklahoma City Police Department and Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner worked in coordination to submit samples to the UNT Center for Human Identification to confirm the presumptive identification. Based on the DNA results, a positive identification of the decedent was made in June 2013. Anyone with information regarding the disappearance or death of Charles Crowder should contact the Oklahoma City Police Department at 405-231-2121.

Timothy Peterson was last seen in Muskogee, Oklahoma on September 10, 2009. In May 2013, the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office located family members of Mr. Peterson and submitted DNA samples to the UNT Center for Human Identification for profiling and uploaded to the National DNA Index System. A "cold hit" was produced to remains that were located in December 2012 in Quinton, Oklahoma. Based on a review of the DNA profiles, a positive identification of Mr. Peterson's remains was made by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office. Anyone with information regarding the disappearance or death of Timothy Peterson should contact the Muskogee County Sheriff's Office at 918-687-0202.

Criminal Justice Agencies and family members of missing persons are encouraged to enter cases into the NamUs databases, which are found at www.NamUs.gov, to obtain free assistance with DNA profiling, anthropological examination, fingerprint examination, odontology and analytical resources designed to help resolve missing and unidentified person cases. As the national database for missing and unidentified person cases, NamUs is a focal point for investigative efforts, increasing coordination and collaboration between investigating agencies - and often the general public - to expedite the location and identification of missing persons and unidentified decedents.

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



About the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and managed through a cooperative agreement with the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center. NamUs serves as a national clearinghouse for information related to missing persons and unidentified decedents. The NamUs databases can be searched by anyone; however, sensitive case information is restricted to medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement personnel, missing person clearinghouse personnel and allied forensic specialists. NamUs provides case management, analytical services and forensic resources, including odontology, fingerprint examination, anthropology* and DNA*. All NamUs services and resources are provided at no cost through funding by the NIJ. To learn more about NamUs, call the NamUs toll-free hotline at 1-855-626-7600 or visit the NamUs website at www.NamUs.gov.

* Anthropology and DNA services are provided by the UNT Center for Human Identification with funding by the National Institute of Justice (award number 2011-MU-BX-K063).