TAMPA, Fla. – In Florida, over 3,200 individuals are entered as Missing/Endangered in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), but only 1,726 of these are entered in NamUs.gov, and 647 are listed in the Missing
Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC). Only NamUs.gov and MEPIC are accessible by the public, resulting in over 2,000 Florida families being unable to access information on their loved one’s case.
There are also over 900 unidentified John or Jane Doe cases in Florida. Due to these cases not matching anyone in the missing person’s database, they remain open.
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This can occur because reports were not filed or entered into the system or because many cases are not up to current investigative standards and lack the essential biometric information, such as DNA, which is needed to make a match.
The purpose of Missing in Florida Day is not only to raise awareness to those who are missing, but to enter more missing persons cases into the current system so they may be found and identified and offer families an opportunity to provide biometric information to bring older cases up to current standards.
Missing in Florida Day will take place on October 19, 2023, and will:
- Raise public awareness about the problem of missing and unidentified persons
- Open new missing person investigations, to include reports for families
- Collect necessary identifiers (DNA, fingerprints, dentals, photographs, etc.) to help resolve open cases
- Re-open cases that were erroneously closed
- Give support to families in their search for loved ones
- Help families preemptively collect identifiers for their children in the event they go missing
- Disseminate information on Amber and Silver Alerts and identify possible high-risk victims
- Resolve and open cases when possible
The Florida Institute of Forensic Anthropology and Applied Science at the University of South Florida and the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a free DNA drive on October 19, 2023, from 12 PM-6 PM at the Italian Club of Tampa located at 1731 E, 7th Ave.
This event aims to assist families and friends affected by the disappearance of a loved one, as well as students and professionals in the medicolegal field. Expert resources will be available throughout this event, such as law enforcement agencies from throughout the state to take reports and collect identifying information, as well as opportunities for free genealogical testing.
If your family plans on attending this event, if possible, please bring:
- Any prior police report and leads
- Dental/medical records
- Doctor or dentist information
- Multiple family members on the mother’s side to give DNA samples to develop a profile.
“Missing in Florida Day is a significant step in the right direction to assist those families who are affected by the disappearance of a loved one. Unfortunately, Florida has over 3,000 cases of missing individuals – our goal is to provide an opportunity to re-open or close these cases and provide closure,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “I am excited for this chance to give families support that are searching for their loved ones, and raise awareness of the problem of missing and unidentified persons.”
We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps