This Morning: Help identify the missing today

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Michigan State Police are looking to help identify remains in hundreds of unsolved cases around the state.

They’re hosting an “Identify the Missing” event today at Sparrow Hospital.

Michigan State Police are asking that anyone who knows someone who’s missing to come in to Sparrow Hospital today and file a police report.

That’s the first step. Troopers will be there willing to take on the case.

In addition if you have a family member missing, even if they’ve been missing since the ’70s, relatives can volunteer to give a sample of their DNA and medical examiners will try to match it to more than 300 unidentified remains throughout the state.

If submitting your DNA makes you a little worried, police say it shouldn’t.

It goes into a database called “Codus” with very strict rules on how the DNA is used.

“The file in Codus that the DNA goes into is called the family members index. Family members of missing people. The only other file in Codus that it’s allowed to search against is the unidentified remains file. So it can’t be used to search the crime scene database, it can’t be used to search any other database except for unidentified remains which is exactly what we’re trying to identify,” says Det. Sgt. Sarah Krebs, with the Missing Persons Unit at Michigan State Police.”

If you want to report someone missing today, you’re encouraged to bring photographs and dental and medical records with you.

If you’re submitting DNA, police ask that two people related to the person missing do a cheek swab.

This can be a brother, sister, uncle or cousin.

This will give medical examiners a better chance at matching unidentified remains.

“A lot of families that have missing individuals out there you know sometimes probably feel helpless. There’s not much they can do. They only can do so much they will search and search, put things on Facebook, they try. But this gives them an opportunity to take action and do something to try to help find their loved ones,” says Michelle Fox, Chief Investigator at the Office of the Medical Examiner.

The event will take place at Sparrow Hospital Friday, June 14 from 12-5PM. 1215 E. Michigan Ave. The event is free.

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