Newsroom

A last chance for families with missing loved ones


By Jeff Carlton

Namus Rc
 
The databases of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) contain files on more than 1,000 active missing person cases in Texas and about 14,000 nationwide – each one a tragedy for the families involved.

“I’m not sure we can help a family find closure,” said BJ Spamer, director of forensic and analytical services for NamUs, which is based at UNT Health Science Center. “But we can help them find answers, and families often take great comfort in that.”

For the second straight year, families with missing loved ones are invited to “Missing in North Texas,” scheduled for Sunday on the UNTHSC campus. At the inaugural event in 2017, more than a dozen families came to UNTHSC to provide more information and documentation about missing relatives.

Family members are encouraged to bring any police reports, X-rays, dental information, fingerprint records or other documents related to their missing loved one. The information will be used to create a new NamUs entry or update an existing one.

Law enforcement officers will be there to take missing person reports if one already hasn’t been filed, and NamUs personnel will be on hand if families want to provide DNA samples that can be used in the search for missing loved ones.

With funding and oversight from the National Institute of Justice, the UNT Center for Human Identification since 2011 has managed and expanded NamUs, a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing person cases, unidentified victims, unidentified living individuals and unclaimed bodies.

Medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officers, family members of missing persons and concerned citizens can access varying levels of information on secure online databases to assist in resolving thousands of unsolved cases. NamUs provides data management, analytical support and forensic resources for missing and unidentified cases at no cost to investigating agencies and family members.

Missing in North Texas

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 22.

Where: UNT Health Science Center’s Medical Education and Training (MET) building, 1000 Montgomery St., Fort Worth

More info:

Wiley Fc
Public health team tackles infant mortality problem

By Sally Crocker   College student Tassanee Harris isn’t planning to start a family anytime soon, but she’s taking steps now to help ensure that when she’s ready, she can be at her healthiest and give her future children the best start possible. Harris, a junior at Paul Quinn Col...Read more

May 18, 2018

Ricco Fc
Students share what ethics mean to them

By Alex Branch   Four students earned $1,000 awards for outstanding ethics essays at the Nicholas and Anna Ricco Awards Presentation. The winners were all first-year-students: Prachi Thapar, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine Katherine Mankus, School of Health Professions ...Read more

May 17, 2018

Rosie Fc
Commencement holds special meaning for Physical Therapy student

By Jan Jarvis   Rosie Ruiz’s parents had a middle school education and an unstoppable drive to give their children a better life than the one they had growing up in Mexico. “My parents worked so hard in low-income jobs just to provide for us,” Ruiz said. “They’re the reason I...Read more

May 17, 2018

Singh FC
Helping fighter pilots stay alert on long missions

By Jan Jarvis   Compounds that could make it easier for sleep-deprived pilots to stay alert during long missions are being studied by researchers at UNT Health Science Center and Savannah State University. Researchers are also looking at how the same compound could also be used to reli...Read more

May 16, 2018