Category Archives: NamUs

NamUs team announced as a Service to America Medal Finalist

The National Institute of Justice team that manages NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, has been announced as a Service to America Medal finalist in the Justice and Law Enforcement division.  This award recognize a federals employees for significant contributions to the nation in activities related to justice and law enforcement including civil rights, criminal justice, counterterrorism, and fraud detection and prevention.  The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals are presented annually by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service to celebrate excellence in our federal civil service.

The NamUs team is lead by Program Manager Charles Heurich, and the nomination is for having created and launched an innovative, missing and unidentified persons database that allows law enforcement, families and others to share information and potentially solve cases nationwide.  Since its launch in 2009, the NamUs system has assisted in the resolution of more than 100 cases.

Click here for more information about the NamUs nomination

The finalists will be recognized at a breakfast on Capitol Hill on May 5, and the winners will be announced in September at a black-tie gala in Washington.

NamUs to attend Missing in Michigan event

Representatives from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) will be attending the upcoming Missing in Michigan Event hosted by the Michigan State Police at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. The event will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 4-9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Families of the missing and those who work with missing persons cases are invited to bring information and photographs to strengthen case files, and DNA family reference samples will be taken.

For more information, download MSP’s official event poster: 

  Missing in Michigan event poster

Please share this with others and invite them to attend.

NamUs used to identify homicide victim after 35 years

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Dixie County Sheriff’s office used NIJ’s National Missing and Unidentifed Persons System (NamUs at to solve a 35-year-old unidentified person case.  The victim of a homicide, James Norris of San Francisco, CA, had traveled to Florida in 1974 and was never seen again by his family. It was Dixie county’s oldest unsolved case. 

Learn about how DNA testing and information in the NamUs system was used to identify Norris.

NFSTC receives $12 Million in awards for forensic science initiatives

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) announced today that it received more than $12 million in Fiscal Year 2010 grants and cooperative agreements from the Department of Justice for new and continuing initiatives and programs in forensic science. The funding will expand training, technology assistance and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) to improve forensic science across the country.

NFSTC is partnering with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to continue the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), the NamUs program, and forensic science training including Crime Scene Investigation and Pattern Evidence courses.

NFSTC will enhance the structure and operation of the FTCoE to ensure the continuation and timely delivery of technology transfer and quality assurance activities. Enhancements to the Center include additional resources for research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) in support of the NIJ; expanded evaluation of technology solutions; and support for new technology implementation. FTCoE will continue to provide quality assessments of publicly funded DNA laboratories and grant progress assessments for NIJ grantees.

The NamUs program continuation will provide for increased staffing, updating and maintenance of the system, outreach and training activities, provisions for forensic services, technical assistance and media and communications services. NamUs is a clearinghouse for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. The free online system can be searched and updated by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public to solve missing or unidentified person cases. NamUs also provides free DNA testing and other forensic services, such as anthropology and odontology assistance.

For the law enforcement community, NFSTC will offer the Intermediate Crime Scene Investigation course and the Pattern Evidence Latent Print course. Intermediate Crime Scene Investigation expands the information covered in the Essentials of Crime Scene Investigation course, and is targeted to experienced investigators who routinely process crime scenes. Pattern Evidence Latent Print classes will provide additional opportunities for forensic science practitioners to acquire formal training in pattern evidence.

NFSTC, in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), will collaborate with subject-matter experts from the High-Tech Crime Institute (HTCI) to enhance and expand the existing Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force training program. These enhancements will provide for increased cost-effectiveness, making the training more accessible to Task Force members and affiliated law enforcement agencies, and will include tools and techniques to improve digital investigation, identifying and documenting best practices and developing collateral materials for distribution through the OJJDP website.

“We’re pleased with this opportunity to expand our relationship with the Department of Justice through these programs,” stated Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “These programs and initiatives will help forward our mission to support the justice community through improving the quality of forensic science practices.”

IACP Innovation Award for NamUs

NFSTC has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police with an Excellence in Technology Award for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). The NamUs system, launched in January 2009, provides central reporting for unidentified remains and missing persons records that is available to and searchable by anyone. By using 21st century, web-based technology at, a new way of solving missing persons/unidentified persons cases is quickly emerging.

Experts with years of experience in missing and unidentified persons investigations assisted in the development of the database, ensuring a system that can capture complete and relevant information. New missing persons cases can be added by law enforcement or the general public, be validated by case managers and be visible and searchable across the country in a very short turn-around time.

The IACP-iXP Excellence in Technology Award Program recognizes law enforcement agencies’ superior achievement and innovation in the field of communication and information technology. This international award program is designed to recognize leading practices through solutions that benefit law enforcement as a profession and innovative implementation of common off-the-shelf hardware/software.

Funding for this program is provided through a grant from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.