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  1. #1
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    NamUs system changes as of September 16, 2013

    For those who aren't registered NamUs users:
    Quote Originally Posted by NamUs
    The NamUs Missing Persons (MP) and Unidentified Persons (UP) databases are undergoing enhancements to improve overall system functionality and services. Effective September 16, 2013, the following changes will be implemented:

    Users will have the ability to designate a default case photo that will be used for the NamUs record and posters.

    The “Police Information” screen in the MP and UP databases will be renamed “Investigating Agency” to better represent the variety of criminal justice agencies involved in these cases.

    Public users will no longer see the Activity Log in the MP and UP databases unless the public user has created the case and the message is cleared for their view.

    Public users who enter a new missing person case into NamUs will continue to have access to all screens in order to make initial entries into the system. After a case is accepted into the NamUs MP database, an entering party with Public User access to NamUs will be restricted from further viewing of certain sensitive fields, such as specific information related to DNA collections, fingerprint coding and dental coding. Public entering parties may still submit this information to NamUs through their Regional System Administrator (RSA) or criminal justice contact. Entering parties may continue to contact the relevant RSA or criminal justice agency to get updates on their case.


    In addition, the following changes will be made to the NamUs system on September 30, 2013:

    The case tracking feature in NamUs will cap user tracking at a maximum of 50 cases.

    NOTE: Registered public users currently tracking more than 50 cases have until September 30, 2013 to reduce their case tracking log to 50. After that date, the system will automatically reduce user case tracking.


    If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact your NamUs Regional System Administrator or the NamUs toll-free number at 1-855-626-7600. You may also contact the general NamUs MP email address at questions@findthemissing.org or the general NamUs UP email address at questions@identifyus.org.
    This is obviously not an "upgrade" or "enhancement" but a downgrade for most public users. Information on dentals, fingerprints, and DNA sometimes needs to be restricted for security reasons. Nevertheless, the utility of those sections is now close to zero for amateurs looking for possible matches. It's not uncommon for MP/UID possible matches to have dentals or DNA listed as entered in NamUs yet not be caught by (or not be flagged for) investigators. I plan to mostly (but judiciously) ignore the dentals/DNA/prints sections from now on, especially for possible matches that have been in NamUs for longer than several months.

    The reductions to case tracking for public users are more understandable given the notification burden on the system. Still unfortunate since the case tracking feature was the single main feature many public users used.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1,669

    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by zinc View Post
    For those who aren't registered NamUs users:


    This is obviously not an "upgrade" or "enhancement" but a downgrade for most public users. Information on dentals, fingerprints, and DNA sometimes needs to be restricted for security reasons. Nevertheless, the utility of those sections is now close to zero for amateurs looking for possible matches. It's not uncommon for MP/UID possible matches to have dentals or DNA listed as entered in NamUs yet not be caught by (or not be flagged for) investigators. I plan to mostly (but judiciously) ignore the dentals/DNA/prints sections from now on, especially for possible matches that have been in NamUs for longer than several months.

    The reductions to case tracking for public users are more understandable given the notification burden on the system. Still unfortunate since the case tracking feature was the single main feature many public users used.
    A "downgrade" is right!!! What do they mean only 50 searches? Is this per day, per month?

    They have CODIS already!

    This just really upsets me!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    NJ
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    Case tracking limit - The 50 limit was 50 on each site; not a total of 50.

    What especially sucks is that I can't see the DNA info on my own MP case.

    Todd Matthews FB post link - There are thousands of public users and this change only effects the 53 public users that are tracking more than 50 cases (31MP / 22UP). Hopefully the cap will resolve the issue without need of special programming or further cap reductions.

    To add to this; someone posted on his wall-
    I see y'all have removed the dental and DNA information from NamUs on the UP's from public view. Slightly disappointing. It will make it harder for volunteers like myself to try to make matches. Why so much secrecy? Please don't take the exclusion lists! We need them, they are extremely important.

    Todd Matthews I've learned that medical records are best left to the experts. They can easily be misinterpreted. I've watched it happen many times. --- Medical examiners hesitated to put the information into the files because they were so open.

  4. #4
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    They've been complaining about the volume of tips from public, and as a result, have had to "put their foot down" and refuse to do manual comparsions unless requested to do so by LE.

    What they don't seem to understand, is that by restricting access to UID dental and dna info, this is going to increase the volume of tips, many of which could be easily ruled out by the tipster if dental info was available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Midwest U.S.
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    762

    That's right....

    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    They've been complaining about the volume of tips from public, and as a result, have had to "put their foot down" and refuse to do manual comparsions unless requested to do so by LE.

    What they don't seem to understand, is that by restricting access to UID dental and dna info, this is going to increase the volume of tips, many of which could be easily ruled out by the tipster if dental info was available.
    That was exactly my first take on it.

    Not having that other information available as a means to "rule out" a possibly match will only have the result of creating more and more speculations about possible matches.

    This was a bad move for good reasons.
    "Time is the most precious gift that anyone has to give. We never know for certain how much or how little we have left. So spend it, give it, invest it, or waste it accordingly." ~ Me

    Please visit the WS Interactive Map:https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...A.kZbM_LWLnTzA

    Maybe join the Group to make it better!
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/group.php?groupid=73


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    120
    The population in general, does not understand the purpose or the workings of NamUS. There are no"investigators" waiting for a tip or LE entry so they can get a "quick resolution for the families"....

    THIS is the building of the world's largest DNA data base - period! If they do get a high profile case, they solicit help in research, then claim that researchers work product as their own along with any positive resolution to that particular case. They solved it!! This justifies their existance and continued grant money.

    Secondly, LE cannot get their case DNA (if not tested at NTU) into the national system free of charge UNLESS they turn over their case to NamUS and have it entered in that system. Figured it out yet? Combine all that with the grants from DOJ and you have a recipe for failure to accomplish their initial goal statement of "bringing closure to the victims"... by investigating these cases and making identifications. With just ONE case it is possible to acquire dozens of reference samples from citizens entered into a national DNA data base. Hmmm, maybe someone had it figured out all along.

    As to too many tips? Well some of these folks at NamUS need to stop contacting researchers for (free) assistance and access these cases and do their job - their own research, if anyone knows what it is.

    All I can see is there are far too many folks in supervisor levels and a lot of misinformation, mistakes and downright wrong information being entered into the data base. But then,that would yield more DNA reference samples to verify in a national system?...What happened to "investigations"? I am afraid LE was terribly misled regarding this project and they would do well to hold onto and investigate their own cases. NTU is NOT the only game in town when it comes to DNA comparison - not yet, anyway. One man who is exceptional at pr is now THE person of ultimate knowledge regarding the scientific ID of these cases? Are we that desperate for a "hero" that we take pr marketing as scientific, professional (not), factual information and answers to our questions regarding pure speculation of the circumstances of our missing loved ones and the identifying features of the unidentified?

    Bottom line? WE are all that is available in case evaluation if LE gives up all their caseload. Keep up the research. When there is overwhelming evidence your case is entered incorrectly (many are), there are other ways of getting the correct info to the attention of a real investigative agency and to the public.

    A job well done here! Don't let it get you down. Cases wre solved long before the DNA proiject began!
    Last edited by BaxterDE42; 09-23-2013 at 01:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    El Segundo, California
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    For many of these cases, the google cache of the NamUs full reports are still available with the dental info still showing. If you want dentals on your pet cases, do the following:

    (1) Google the NamUs URL in "Full Report" mode ( e.g., https://identifyus.org/cases/full_report/#### )

    (2) When that url shows up in the google results (in green) Go to the cached version (click the green Down arrow next to the green url), and select cache.

    (3) Save the page as a HTML doc.

    Do this soon before the Google web crawlers update the cache. Also, if the pre-shutdown version of the page is not available, try the spanish version.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    For many of these cases, the google cache of the NamUs full reports are still available with the dental info still showing. If you want dentals on your pet cases, do the following:

    (1) Google the NamUs URL in "Full Report" mode ( e.g., https://identifyus.org/cases/full_report/#### )

    (2) When that url shows up in the google results (in green) Go to the cached version (click the green Down arrow next to the green url), and select cache.

    (3) Save the page as a HTML doc.

    Do this soon before the Google web crawlers update the cache. Also, if the pre-shutdown version of the page is not available, try the spanish version.
    We found out this morning that the actual page is available via cache. I prefer to either save PDF or print screen the pages; I couldn't get info on a few this morning; Carl was able to find the full page reports were showing more on some cases because the cache version was older on the full page then the profile.

    If one way doesn't work; try another; you may get lucky.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
    We found out this morning that the actual page is available via cache. I prefer to either save PDF or print screen the pages; I couldn't get info on a few this morning; Carl was able to find the full page reports were showing more on some cases because the cache version was older on the full page then the profile.

    If one way doesn't work; try another; you may get lucky.
    Screen print is far better from a legal stand point but I agree, some are no longer available. From its inception, I have saved the screenprint and file save PDF. Going back now and comparing information in some cases is disheartening and downright frightning considering the general public and LE has such faith in that system. I too have a lost relative but will not enter it into that system. When a potential UP is located, a private lab will do the DNA.

    It is time for the victims families to be educated on getting involved in their own research for the missing. It seems we as a society are giving up our every problem to some self-proclaimed "be all" entity to solve.There are ways to get DNA testing that are not costly and some free!

    Serious researchers and LE should start trying to retreive info to their caseload before it is no longer available and no one held accountable for incorrect information entered into the data base as these cases continue to sit in the "in basket" - unaccessed. jmo
    Last edited by BaxterDE42; 10-05-2013 at 12:06 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaxterDE42 View Post
    Screen print is far better from a legal stand point but I agree, some are no longer available. From its inception, I have saved the screenprint and file save PDF. Going back now and comparing information in some cases is disheartening and downright frightning considering the general public and LE has such faith in that system.
    I've never used the full report; not sure why. Personally, I like the print screen or PDF because it's what I got used to

    Quote Originally Posted by BaxterDE42 View Post
    I too have a lost relative but will not enter it into that system. When a potential UP is located, a private lab will do the DNA.

    It is time for the victims families to be educated on getting involved in their own research for the missing. It seems we as a society are giving up our every problem to some self-proclaimed "be all" entity to solve.There are ways to get DNA testing that are not costly and some free!
    You will have more control over your DNA that way. I've started giving more thought to the sample; why they need 2 family members as well as what happens to the samples after they use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BaxterDE42 View Post
    Serious researchers and LE should start trying to retreive info to their caseload before it is no longer available and no one held accountable for incorrect information entered into the data base as these cases continue to sit in the "in basket" - unaccessed. jmo
    I'm in contact with 2 families that need loved ones entered (NamUs already has their DNA); I've told them that they're better off with an advocate then LE entering because they have more control over it; assuming they do not feel comfortable entering it themselves.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
    I've never used the full report; not sure why. Personally, I like the print screen or PDF because it's what I got used to

    You will have more control over your DNA that way. I've started giving more thought to the sample; why they need 2 family members as well as what happens to the samples after they use it.
    It really doesn't matter if the samples are destroyed or not. Once a reference sample (s) is collected and entered, it forever remains a part of a national DNA data base even if it is completly unrelated to the MP. As I stated in a prior post, one UID case can generate multiple reference samples! Considering the lag time in results, it seems to me that DNA collection trumps investigation or resolution to the average MP case. That is what worries me.


    I'm in contact with 2 families that need loved ones entered (NamUs already has their DNA); I've told them that they're better off with an advocate then LE entering because they have more control over it; assuming they do not feel comfortable entering it themselves.
    Your approach is far more logical than having the case sit in a data base "waiting" on a hit, when we all know most of the information is incorrect and there will be no hit!

    An advocate can verify the information given on a police report, gain further information that may be useful, gain more insight into the personality or character of the MP to better focus on a particular location of group of potential acquaintences. There are people taking investigative or geneaology courses who have to fulfill certain research criteria in their course of study who donate their time and are willing to assist and/or educate the victims family in how to research their case and keep the ball rolling.

    There are too many people sitting around sending mass emails of jokes and silly personal interactions during NamUS work time. I can prove my point! That time could be used to actually verify reports and change the information where necessary.

    An INDEPENDENT advocate is what is needed to keep the politics out of the process of resolving these cases.

    Keep up the good work Roselvr, we need people who see our missing loved ones as a person - not a case number!

    note: When I feel there is little hope of working around the massive system, I can read here and know there are people who really care about the missing!
    Last edited by BaxterDE42; 10-06-2013 at 04:00 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlK90245 View Post
    For many of these cases, the google cache of the NamUs full reports are still available with the dental info still showing. If you want dentals on your pet cases, do the following:

    (1) Google the NamUs URL in "Full Report" mode ( e.g., https://identifyus.org/cases/full_report/#### )

    (2) When that url shows up in the google results (in green) Go to the cached version (click the green Down arrow next to the green url), and select cache.

    (3) Save the page as a HTML doc.

    Do this soon before the Google web crawlers update the cache. Also, if the pre-shutdown version of the page is not available, try the spanish version.
    I've spent most of the last day or two saving the html files for the cached NamUs UP casefiles that still show dental charts.

    I've found in the vast majority of cases, you can still find a chart on at least one of the google-cached versions of following url's (where #### is the UP case number):

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/full_report/####
    https://identifyus.org/es/cases/full_report/####
    https://identifyus.org/cases/####
    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/####
    https://identifyus.org/es/cases/####

    I prefer the full report, because everything is on a single page. But even with the standard format, if you save the html file on your hard drive, you can still access all of the sections (e.g., Case Information, Demographics, Circumstances, etc.).

    Not sure how long it will be before google replaces the old format of the pages with newer versions, so if you want dental charts for the cases you are working on, you should do it fast before they are no longer available.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-06-2013 at 06:01 PM.



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