UNTHSC manages ‘one-stop shop’ for missing person cases

 Namus Video Screenshot
Click here to watch the video

For cold-case detective Stuart Somershoe, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a “one-stop shop” for unsolved cases.

“We all have pieces of the puzzle,” said Somershoe, who works for the Phoenix Police Department. “Medical examiners have elements of these cases. Police have elements. The families have elements.

“NamUs invites us all together in order to solve these cases.”

With funding and oversight from the National Institute of Justice, UNT Health Science Center since 2011 has managed and expanded NamUs, a national clearinghouse 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.

In many ways, NamUs is a perfect fit at UNTHSC, which runs a crime laboratory set in a graduate school for scientists and health care professionals. UNTHSC trains students in forensics and the use of DNA technologies to help solve crimes and identify the missing and unidentified.

It is one of only eight public- sector labs in the nation with a program dedicated to DNA testing for identifying missing persons and unknown victims. UNTHSC forensic experts routinely work with the FBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and hundreds of police agencies and medical examiners nationwide.

“Victims’ families wake up every day – year after year – not knowing where their loved ones are,” said Arthur Eisenberg, PhD, Chair of Molecular and Medical Genetics. “Our efforts through NamUs are aimed at helping families find answers.”

Recent News

Screenshot 2024 06 20 At 3.45.01 pm
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

From sacrifice to success: a journey through physical therapy school

Ancelmo Mojarro came to Fort Worth to study. The Tyler native knew he wanted to be a physical therapist early on his undergraduate days. He embarked on his path to physical therapy a decade ago, inspired by a friend's suggestion amidst his quest to find his calling in the medical field. “I starte...
Garciarosanski
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

HSC pro bono physical therapy program offers hope

For 70-year-old Beverly Rozanski, the journey to improved health has been long and challenging. Raised in Michigan, Rozanski spent her childhood and early adult years struggling with physical challenges that made even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. However, her discovery of a pro bono p...
Mills John
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

Team of experts from HSC and TCOM develop a national position statement for NCCHC on care for aging patients in correctional facilities

Addressing an overlooked and sometimes neglected patient population, a group of experts from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth partnered with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to write a “Care for Aging Patients in the Correctional Setting” posit...
Jennifer Fix 2 Purple
  • Education
|Jun 18, 2024

Pharmacy technician shortage driving force behind new, online prep course

A self-paced, online Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course is now being offered through The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as a way to help combat the shortage of pharmacy technicians at hospitals, health systems and retail pharmacies. Recognized by the Pharmacy Tech...