‘Missing in North Texas’ event helps families find closure
By Alex Branch
Gene and Helga Lukacsy will never forget the worry and sleepless nights after their son went missing in October 2016.
Anthony Lukacsy, 46, faced his share of life struggles and was homeless. But he always periodically checked in with family, even if just to ask for a little extra cash.
3rd Annual Missing in North Texas Event
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18
Then he vanished.
“Police tried to find him, but I became my own detective driving around to shelters with his picture and checking with all his friends,” Helga Lukacsy said. “Your mind imagines all the different terrible things that could have happened to him when you don’t know what did happen.”
In 2018, Dallas Police referred the Lukacsys to “Missing in North Texas,” an annual event at UNT Health Science Center in which families with missing loved ones can provide information to help resolve long-term missing or unidentified person cases.
At the event, DNA samples were collected from the Lukacsys by staff from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs. NamUs, a program of the National Institute of Justice managed through the UNT Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI), is a national database and resource center that helps resolve missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases.
The DNA samples collected from the Lukacsys were then submitted to the UNTCHI DNA laboratory for processing.
“It was very quick and very easy,” Gene Lukacsy said. “It’s a really good process that can help a lot of families just like ours.”
Months passed. This January, contractors working near DFW airport discovered unidentified human remains near a homeless campsite that Lukacsy was known to frequent. Authorities soon confirmed the remains belonged to Anthony Lukacsy by comparing DNA from the remains with the sample submitted by his parents.
He likely died of natural causes, authorities ruled.
In March, two and a half years after he disappeared, Gene and Helga Lukacsy gathered with Anthony’s other relatives and friends for a celebration of his life and memorial service.
At long last, they could tell their son goodbye.
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