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Unidentified "How To" & Reference Forum How to search, identify, submit, and help bring them home. Share ideas here. This forum is not for individual cases.

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Old 01-17-2010, 11:50 AM
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CarlK90245 CarlK90245 is offline
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A bigger picture - What every MP investigator/family member must know

The attached documents were forwarded to me by David Van Norman, Deputy Coroner Investigator of the San Bernadino Sheriff Department - Coroner Division. Even though they are a bit lengthy, I strongly recommend them to all websleuthers who are trying to match MP cases to UID cases.


The PDF file is a summarized version of the 16-page MS Word document. It is somewhat of a lengthy read, but well worth the time for those of us who are working hard to try to match MP cases to UID cases. Some of his key points are as follows:
  • Although in some states (including California) it is against the law for LE agencies to refuse to file a MP report, many law enforcement agencies treat missing persons cases with very little enthusiasm.
  • The ME's and LE Agencies spend very little or none of their time actually trying to manually compare MP cases to UID cases. They rely upon the National database applications to do that job for them.
  • Not enough of the LE agencies take the time to submit all MP data to the national databanks (e.g., AFIS, CODIS, NCIC, NamUs), thereby negating the ability of the national databases to do what they were designed to do
  • Of the more than 110,000 unsolved MP cases in the U.S., the casefiles include identifiers at the following rates:
    • Dental Info - 4%
    • Fingerprints - less than 1%
    • DNA - Less than 1%.
    This is one of the reasons why there are over 40,000 unsolved UID cases in the U.S.
  • When evaluating information on a MP, don't accept all of the information, such as the Date of Last Contact (DLC), unquestioningly. Often. LE agencies confuse this for the date that the MP report was created, not the date that the MP was last seen alive. He speaks of one Alaska MP case that he matched to a San Bernadino UID because he persisted on the case even though the recorded DLC was after the date of death.

Last edited by CarlK90245; 01-17-2010 at 10:32 PM.
Old 01-17-2010, 12:35 PM
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I love this PDF-I received this a while ago and my bad, I was supposed to post it so thank you very much for taking the lead Carl.

Van Norman is one of my favorite folks in the world of UID's-along with Fulton County MedEx, Phoenix MedEx and a very special gifted person who works for FL UID, Michael Britt.

Take these words to heart and review the cases you are working-things can fall into place pretty quickly when you use this lens...JMHO.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:02 PM
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Thank you for posting that! It was very insightful and I like Van Norman's writing style. He gets his message across quite clearly.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:45 AM
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Julessleuther Julessleuther is offline
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Thank you for posting--this is very informative!
I am looking for a few good sleuthers to help Missie find her sister--please, please, please bring your fresh ideas!!

Deanna Merryfield:
Old 03-01-2010, 09:03 PM
capoly capoly is offline
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The attached PDF was also written by Mr. Van Norman but for LE Investigators. Some may find it of interest to read.

He is a good man.....wish more LE/Coroners would follow his suit.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:16 PM
Cubby Cubby is offline
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bump ....

This warrants a sticky. Hence, it is now stuck. Thank you Mr. Van Norman!
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:01 PM
ThePhantom ThePhantom is offline
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Thank you for posting this. It is very enlightening. I often feel that making a match between a Doe and an MP is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. So many missing persons are never entered into any database, likewise Jane/John Does. It's frustrating. Also, some of the sketches used for Doe's look very little like the MP. This is not a criticism, it is merely to point out that one shouldn't discount a potential match soley on the basis of a sketch. I've seen MP's listed as having blue eyes when their eyes were green, and blond hair when their hair was brown. Same thing with height and weight, I've seen fairly large disparities in both. This applies to location as well. In the cases of abduction, people can be taken far away from where they were picked up. It pays to have an open mind when evaluating potential matches. Just my two cents.
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