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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Unclaimed who are they and what we do!

    Let me see if I can explain unclaimed. Sometimes when people die their name is known but the ME or whoever is unable to locate any family. So, the person becomes an unclaimed. The name is posted on a website and we try to match it to a living relative mostly using genealogy records.

    1.) Sometimes the family or one member of the family knows but refuses for whatever reason (financial or because of hard feelings) refuses to claim the body.

    2.) Sometimes it is a homeless or street person. They may have lost touch with family years ago. The family may or may not be looking for them. Raine had a case of a mother who lost touch with her daughter 10 years before. We traced the family and contact was made with the mother who was heartbroken to find out her daughter was dead, but relieved to know she knew what had happened to her.

    3.) Sometimes it is someone who dies in a group home or other institution who lost touch with their family. We had a case like this recently--A man who had been living in a group home died of cancer. No family known. We found the sister who lost track of her brother when they moved him from the state hospital and the hospital lost his records. She was also sad to hear of his death, but glad to know what happened to her brother.

    4.) Sometimes the ID and name that the unclaimed gave is a fake one. These are very hard cases. But sometimes we figure it out.

    5.) Sometimes the person is elderly and dies alone.

    6.) Sometimes the only living relative is a very distant relationship. Takes a good bit of genealogy work to figure these out. For one lady, it was a third cousin.

    7.) Family trees - sometimes whoever is doing the family's genealogy may find the ssdi (social security death index) and places it in the family tree. Sometimes this is a distant relationship. Sometimes it is close family. We try to figure out how close the relationship is to the owner of the tree (on ancestry) and see if we can determine if close family knows.

    8.) And sadly, sometimes the records are incomplete, the family knows. And may have claimed the body. Maybe listed the person as deceased in a more recent obituary, but the ME's file did not get updated.

    So, that is unclaimed. Usually quite a challenge to unravel.

    Raine and I both believe that every person deserves at least for their family to know what happened to them, a chance to go home to their family, and the family deserves to know what happened to their family member.

    Hope that helps and maybe inspires you to work some unclaimed cases. We can always use the help!

    Thanks NM for the help. Your sidekick!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    220
    How are matches verified? Does whoever is in charge of a case let us know that the info we gave allowed them to contact someone who was indeed family?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Yes they do, But on a lot of cases I personally contact the family. and give them the info to call my ME's that I assist

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Oh Captain, My Captain
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    28,051
    Just a drive by-You guys are making a huge difference in the case loads of these hardworking ME's.
    email me


    Long Lost Love: The Bob Harrod Story Disappeared/ID Network
    Amazon: Purchase Long Lost Love $1.99


    Bob Harrod SAR


    “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
    ― Maya Angelou

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    Just a drive by-You guys are making a huge difference in the case loads of these hardworking ME's.
    Thank You, That means alot to me..from you.. Some my ME's are so happy.
    Raine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    220
    What is the difference between "Match" and "Resolved"?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublestop View Post
    What is the difference between "Match" and "Resolved"?
    Match is a WS solve, resolved the ME's done without us or family has come forward.