NamUs Awakens

July 5, 2009

NamUs Awakens
July 04, 2009 by
Todd Matthews

The Third and Final Phase of NamUs
http://www.NamUs.gov

NamUs has three phases, two of which are complete. Phase three is in progress.

Phase 1 (July-September 2007) – “COMPLETE”

“Complete creation of the national database of unidentified decedent

records, which will allow searches based on characteristics such as demographics, anthropologic analysis, dental information, and distinct body features.”

http://www.IdentifyUs.org

“Begin functional and technical design of the national online missing persons database.”

Phase II (October 2007-September 2008) – “COMPLETE”

“Develop a national online missing persons database to enhance reporting, investigating, and solving missing persons cases.”

http://www.FindTheMissing.org

Phase III (2009) – “In Process”

“Release fully searchable NamUs system, which will search cases in the missing persons database against cases in the unidentified decedents database in an effort to identify unidentified human remains and solve missing persons cases.”

This means that officials using NamUs will have a stream of possible matches showing as pending in their control panel / dashboard. It is very much a process of elimination at that point. Based on exclusions already known to the official, many can be quickly marked as such.

“In 2009, the two databases will be linked. Families, law enforcement agencies, medical examiners and coroners, victim advocates, and the general public will be able to search for matches between missing persons and unidentified decedent records.”

The “linking” between the missing and the unidentified databases has began. Manual searches were already possible and have been moving forward. But now the system itself is becoming capable of generating possible matches based on information contained in the dual databases of the NamUs System.

It is vital that cases listed include all known information. A lack of specific information can produce numerous and maybe unlikely possible matches that have to be eliminated manually. But this also sparks the search for more detailed information which in turn enhances the accuracy of the system.

The Third and Final Phase of NamUs
Exclusions made and added to the exclusions list will prevent the same matches from being made over and again. The exclusions database will be a very valuable resource to law enforcement officials.

The NamUs system can only generate matches and exclusions between the missing and unidentifieds that have been entered into it’s databases. So if you have a missing loved one, the sooner you get their (complete and accurate) information into the system the
better.

A detailed and “official” press release will be penned by the communications department at NamUs and will be released at a later date as the process of linking the databases continues.

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