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  1. #1

    General Questions, discussions, briefings, newbies, etc.

    To be honest, I've been interested in the Unidentified forum for a couple of years, but had no idea where to start or what to do. And guess what? I found that other members of the Mod Squad felt the same way! If that's the case among the mods, I figure there's other members who want to help but don't know where to start. It can seem overwhelming at first.

    May I suggest reading the sticky threads and see if any of them help. If not, don't be discouraged! The more I jump in, the more the suggestions make sense to me. And if you make a comment and someone else rules out the idea, you'll have learned something to help save you time in the future.

    Where to begin?

    For me, I decided to start close to home and check out some of the UIDs in Oregon. For some reason, being familiar with the area they were found and being able to discuss them with people in my world brought it home for me. So start where you want to start. The main thing is to JOIN IN.

    And here's a thread for you to ask questions. Don't worry about them being stupid questions because I know I'll learn from whatever you guys want to discuss.

    The goal: Give someone their name back so they can go home. What could be more rewarding?

  2. #2
    Tip from Bessie:

    In the top left of the bar in the main forum it says "Thread/Thread Starter". If you click on "Thread", it will sort out all the cases by state.

  3. #3
    I've seen a couple of threads wondering if one ethnic group can be searched with another. This information from Carl was enlightening and worth copying here for reference:

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    Of the three basic races (Mongoloid, Caucasoid, and Negroid), it's pretty easy to determine race from the shape of the skull.

    If you lay a skull face-down on a flat surface, a Negroid or Caucasoid skull will pivot on the tip of the nasal bone. A Mongoloid (i.e., "Asian") skull will sit on three points (i.e., the nasal bone and the foremost points of the cheek bones.)

    If you set a straightedge vertically against the front of a Caucasoid skull, you can simultaneously touch the nasal bone and the chin. You wouldn't be able to do this with a Negroid skull because the teeth would obstruct that plane. The teeth on a Negroid skull also tend to form a wider arch.

    The differences within these three race categories are more subtle, and I suppose that people of mixed race may be more difficult to tell. But Song Im Joseph appears to be decidedly Mongoloid, and any ME worth his salt would be able to recognize that.

  4. #4
    Here's a story I found on the internet today. It reminded me of how thankful I am for all those volunteering their time here, and at other sites like the Doe Network:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/media/news53.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Super idea for a thread!!

    Everyone in the UID forum has been so nice - it's easy to ask questions.

    My best advice would be that if you have a potential match, post it and give other sleuthers the opportunity to comment on it before calling it in to LE. I know several times I've thought something looked good only to have someone point out a detail I had missed that made the match impossible....

    Like Kimster, sometimes I try to pick cases because I know something about the area.

    Sometimes I look for cases that we haven't discussed in more than 6 months....new cases are put in on NamUs everyday, so something that wasn't solveable 6 months ago could be today.

    Also, just a thought....look on NamUs and see if the county you live in is listing their cases there. If they're not, you might think about calling the ME's office or LE in your area and suggesting it. Believe it or not, there are a lot of departments that still don't know about it....so a lot of UID's are still not in there.

  6. #6
    Briefing:

    There's a sub forum for topics other than individual cases now: Unidentified "How To" & Reference Forum - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community



    I've also moved some of the sticky threads there so you won't have to scroll down as much. There's a lot of misc. topic threads in here that I'll be moving over in the next week or so.
    Last edited by KateB; 04-29-2015 at 02:29 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Cleveland, Ohio
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    Of general interest here, I found a couple articles about NamUs to share:

    Cut and pasted from the 11/27 online edition of the Sacramento Bee:

    NIJ NamUs Team to Attend White House Reception – The National Institute of Justice's National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) team will attend a reception hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House on November 30. The reception celebrates the 2011 awardees of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medal ("Sammie"), honoring outstanding federal workers making high-impact contributions critical to the health, safety, and well-being of Americans. The team overseeing NamUs – the first free online database connecting families, law enforcement, medical examiners and coroners – was recognized in the "Justice and Law Enforcement" category for their commitment to resolving unidentified and missing persons cases since 2009.

    Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/25/407...#ixzz1escafqze

    And from ABC News affiliate in Tampa:

    http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/new...e-never-before

  8. #8
    I've seen some concern over our fellow with the Spiderman beanie. We have temporarily moved the thread from view due to a request from family. He has been identified. The thread will return after they have some time to process the shock of his passing.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sleuthnewbie View Post
    I had sent my email reply to the detective one week ago tomorrow. I always worry that I'll get lost in the proverbial shuffle in the detective's email box. Is there a recommended time frame that I wait before sending an email asking if there is any news on a potential match?
    Quote Originally Posted by webrocket View Post
    personally I've waited a month. no need to come across as a pest and keep in mind they usually have many cases they are working on at the same time.
    This was a question I had as well, so I'm posting here since others who are new to this forum probably wonder the same.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Cleveland, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimster View Post
    I've seen some concern over our fellow with the Spiderman beanie. We have temporarily moved the thread from view due to a request from family. He has been identified. The thread will return after they have some time to process the shock of his passing.
    Thanks for explaining. I too was wondering. It's rare for a thread to get closed down here in UID....but that makes sense. I'm so relieved that he has been identified. I'm sure they are in shock and pain, and they are certainly in my prayers.


  11. #11
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    Oct 2008
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    Wondering, oh dear mods, about an idea I have.

    What is the possibility of getting together any questions we have about NamUs in a list and then possibly making contact with someone at NamUs for answers? Maybe no one else has questions, I don't know, but I do.

    For example, I ran across a case recently where looking at the dentals of an UID, half of them were listed as "N" and half were listed as "P" or postmortem loss. When dentals are run for comparison in NamUs and possible hits generated, is that going to generate a hit against someone who had all "N"'s??

    Also, sometimes I'm confused by the different choices for DNA...some say "sample submitted, tests complete," while some say "available and entered." or something to that effect. So is that to say the former is not entered in NamUs, and if not, is it just due to backlog and eventually it will be?

    Does NamUs ever run keyword search type matches? If someone enters that an MP has a tattoo of a butterfly on their shoulder, will that type of information ever generate an automatic hit on NamUs?

    Does an LE case manager have to check the system to see if there is a match flagged for their person? Or are they e-mailed a set of results every so often? Are the matches prioritized in any kind of way?

    I guess if anyone else here knows these answers, please chime in. Otherwise, there is a lot about this system that I'm kind of curious to know more about.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Eyes View Post
    For example, I ran across a case recently where looking at the dentals of an UID, half of them were listed as "N" and half were listed as "P" or postmortem loss. When dentals are run for comparison in NamUs and possible hits generated, is that going to generate a hit against someone who had all "N"'s??
    Yes. Going from MP to UID, if the MP has all "N"'s, he/she is a potential match for all UID's because the system doesn't assume that their dental characteristics have not changed since their last dental appointment.

    However, going from UID to MP, if a UID has all "N"'s, it will only generate a potential match against only those MP's who have all "N"'s, because a tooth with crowns, fillings, or is missing cannot revert to a natural unrestored tooth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Eyes View Post
    Also, sometimes I'm confused by the different choices for DNA...some say "sample submitted, tests complete," while some say "available and entered." or something to that effect. So is that to say the former is not entered in NamUs, and if not, is it just due to backlog and eventually it will be?
    It depends on the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions do not utilize CODIS or the full NamUs functionality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Eyes View Post
    Does NamUs ever run keyword search type matches? If someone enters that an MP has a tattoo of a butterfly on their shoulder, will that type of information ever generate an automatic hit on NamUs?
    I believe so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Eyes View Post
    Does an LE case manager have to check the system to see if there is a match flagged for their person? Or are they e-mailed a set of results every so often? Are the matches prioritized in any kind of way?

    Yes. The MP case manager works through a list generated by the system. As they rule-out names on the list, the names are moved to the Rule-out list for that UID.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    153
    Quote Originally Posted by Irish_Eyes View Post
    Wondering, oh dear mods, about an idea I have.

    What is the possibility of getting together any questions we have about NamUs in a list and then possibly making contact with someone at NamUs for answers? Maybe no one else has questions, I don't know, but I do.

    For example, I ran across a case recently where looking at the dentals of an UID, half of them were listed as "N" and half were listed as "P" or postmortem loss. When dentals are run for comparison in NamUs and possible hits generated, is that going to generate a hit against someone who had all "N"'s??

    Also, sometimes I'm confused by the different choices for DNA...some say "sample submitted, tests complete," while some say "available and entered." or something to that effect. So is that to say the former is not entered in NamUs, and if not, is it just due to backlog and eventually it will be?

    Does NamUs ever run keyword search type matches? If someone enters that an MP has a tattoo of a butterfly on their shoulder, will that type of information ever generate an automatic hit on NamUs?

    Does an LE case manager have to check the system to see if there is a match flagged for their person? Or are they e-mailed a set of results every so often? Are the matches prioritized in any kind of way?

    I guess if anyone else here knows these answers, please chime in. Otherwise, there is a lot about this system that I'm kind of curious to know more about.
    The more I get involved in UIDs and NamUs the more I am learning that there are many glitches and discrepancies amongst the records probably from cases being input from different people. I don't mean to be cynical but some cases seem to be filled out like it was a required chore and somebody whipped through it doing a half-a@@ed job.

    I am starting to use an error margin and not rule anything out within that. Also I am learning to use as broad a set of search parameters as possible. And assume nothing....The system is only as intelligent as the people who made it....and maybe not even that smart!! What they could use is the equivalent of a library page....somebody to continually review records and keep them up to date.... make sure info. makes sense and is filled in as complete as possible.

    What does surprise me is that it isn't being used consistently across the country. I looked at WS list of MP/UID resources(links) per state and found in my own area, many cases I spotchecked weren't even in NamUs. So my big question is why no enforcement? If I'm a regular Joe and found NamUs why can't the professionals find and use it?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ebbie View Post

    What does surprise me is that it isn't being used consistently across the country. I looked at WS list of MP/UID resources(links) per state and found in my own area, many cases I spotchecked weren't even in NamUs. So my big question is why no enforcement? If I'm a regular Joe and found NamUs why can't the professionals find and use it?
    When I talked to LE about Hampton Doe, they said they were getting ready to add her. They have a volunteer who helps them with cold cases. How often they are there to help, I don't know? I've been thinking about contact my local LE and see if they need a volunteer but then I wonder how in the world I'd have the time. I live quite far from the police station but perhaps they'd be good with me working from home?

    It would be great if a NamUS volunteer asked to be a professional poster for WS and give us all some tips. (hint hint)

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Wow. Thanks for sharing that, Carl. Very moving tribute someone made. I'm glad he's not unidentified any longer.

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