Identifying the Missing Conference

Discussion in 'Missing Archives' started by RCOOKE, Apr 30, 2005.


    RCOOKE New Member

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    Several family members of the long term missing attended the First "Identifying the Missing" conference in Philadelphia on April 28 and 29. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department. An agenda may be read at .

    Some of the Highlights are
    1. $14.4 million allocated for solving cold cases With DNA. "Several law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's offices, and crime labs across the country have established innovative programs to review old cases. Often called “cold case units,” these programs have enabled criminal justice officials to solve cases that have languished for years without suspects."
    2. A discussion of how the FBI DNA database, CODIS, works and some of the matches it's made between missing persons and the unidentified dead.
    3. Dr. Emily Craig gave a good explanation how various methods of identification are done.
    3. Both the National Crime Information Database, NCIC, and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Programs, ViCap, databases were explained
    4. Department of Justice resources and goals were described.
    5. Crime statistics compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics were reviewed.
    6. The first day the audience attended two sets of panel presentations. I was a presenter on the "Reporting the Missing" panel.
    7. On the second day, the audience was broken up into six workgroups to identify roadblocks and other problems with finding missing persons and matching missing persons to unidentified remains. The group each contained local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel, forensic medical personnel, and family members of the missing.

    Some of the most moving parts of the conference were when John Bish told his daughter Molly's story and when John Walsh talked about his son's Adam's disappearance, murder, and problems they encountered with evidence.

    AMERICAS MOST WANTED, 48 HOURS, and Greta Van Susteren's producer were in attendance.

    I was honored to be invited to participate in the conference. Other families of the missing and murdered attending were those of Jason Jolkowski, Suzzane Lyall, Carrie Culberson, Stacy McCall, Molly Bish, and of course Adam Walsh.
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