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From 2005 through 2011, we worked with the National Institute of Justice to develop, deliver and operate the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System -

Prior to the NamUs launch in 2009, families with missing loved ones had few places to turn in their quest for answers. NamUs provides investigators and loved ones a powerful online system that offers hands-on access to a national database of records related to missing and unidentified persons.

NamUs Facts

  • Nationwide, there are an estimated 100,000 active missing persons cases and more than 40,000 sets of human remains that have not been identified.
  • The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a free web-based tool - accessible to everyone, but geared to families of missing persons, law enforcement, medical examiners/coroners and victim advocates - to assist in solving of missing and unidentified persons cases in the United States.
  • Data regarding missing persons can be entered in NamUs by law enforcement professionals, missing persons clearinghouses and the general public.
  • Anyone can access the NamUs system to search or track cases, print missing persons posters, find resources and even map out travel routes in an effort to locate a missing person.
  • The system searches for potential matches between missing and unidentified cases. Potential matches are presented to law enforcement case managers for closer review.
  • To learn more, read our 2010 NamUs poster and 2011 NamUs poster, presented at National Institute of Justice conferences.


In 2011, Charles Heurich, program manager and leader of the NamUs team, was named winner of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in the Justice and Law Enforcement category. The system was honored for its innovation and creativity in working to solve a major national law enforcement challenge.

In 2009, NamUs was recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police with an Excellence in Technology Award, which recognizes law enforcement agencies' superior achievement and innovation in the field of communication and information technology.

This project was fully or partially funded through grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, and/or the U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).