NYC Healthcare News

UNT Health Science Center analyzes DNA from unidentified human remains

November 01, 2015

With the addition of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) at the FBI and state DNA databases, the Center for Human Identification is able to enter DNA profiles to facilitate identification with other laboratories. In fact, the UNT Health Science enters 50-60 percent of the DNA profiles in the CODIS National Missing Person DNA Database (NMPDD).  When a DNA profile matches one already loaded into the database, a case can be solved that initially seemed unrelated to the evidence.  In one instance, the body of a teenager who disappeared from Washington was discovered in Montana.  In another, the remains of a girl from Oregon were found in California.  Without the national DNA database, these seemingly unrelated events may never have been linked.  And the victims could have remained in unnamed graves.

In 2010, the Center for Human Identification has helped close 83 cases, 17 of which were "cold hits."

"While these DNA associations help law enforcement close cold cases, we acknowledge that our responsibility is to serve the families of missing persons.  We recognize the importance of our work and are pleased to assist in resolving cases that have been unsolved for many years," Peters concluded.

SOURCE University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth