Oregon State Police has partnered with the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNT-CHI) for over 10 years to process and upload missing person (MP) and unidentified person (UP) DNA profiles into the national CODIS system. Unfortunately, through an extensive re-allocation of federal funds at the National Institute of Justice, the UNT-CHI can no longer process ANY missing person or unidentified remains biological samples outside the state of Texas. Moving forward, please use the following guidelines for sample submission to OSP.
Missing Person Samples:
Oregon State Police-Forensic Services Division will resume analysis of Missing Person reference samples and will accept the submission of samples under new, stricter guidelines. The following types of biological samples related to missing persons cases can be submitted to the OSP DNA Unit:
• Oral swab standards from PARENTS or OFFSPRING of the missing person (“Family Reference Standards” or FRS). If submitting oral swab standards from offspring, an oral swab standard from the other biological parent should also be submitted when available. Submission of these samples also requires the completion and submission of a Missing Persons Program Reference Sample Submission Form or the equivalent UNT-CHI form.
• Direct Reference standards (toothbrushes, razor, hairbrush, etc. known to have been used only by the missing person)
Please note that only oral swabs from PARENTS or OFFSPRING of missing persons may be submitted to OSP. Also, the direct reference standard must be an object or implement known to have been used only by the missing person.
All other types of biological reference evidence from missing persons will not be accepted by the Oregon State Police.
Private DNA laboratories throughout the country are available to process missing person samples from more-distant relatives for a fee.
In missing person investigations, the collection and retention of MP antemortem dental records, MP fingerprint records and MP medical records is crucial. Because DNA analysis for Oregon unidentified remains cases will be limited, these types of antemortem records are necessary and invaluable in identifying unidentified remains; every effort should be made to collect and retain these documents when beginning missing person inquiries.
Unidentified Remains Samples:
The State Medical Examiner’s Office will attempt to identify any unidentified remains through standardized, well-known and accurate methods such as visual recognition, dental x-ray comparisons, friction ridge detail (fingerprint) collection and comparison, circumstantial evidence, medical history and association with surgical hardware, etc. Until further notice, pathologists will continue to collect biological samples for DNA, but DNA analysis on unidentified remains will not be routine.
If an identification is tentative, and the Law Enforcement Agency has collected FRS for comparison to unidentified remains1, then a request for DNA analysis will be submitted through the Medical Examiner’s Office Human Identification Program (Dr. Nici Vance, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Dr. Vance with any questions regarding your Missing Person or Unidentified Person casework.
more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please review the
full release: Missing and Unidentified Persons Program Update - March 1st, 2021
To submit a reference sample, please use the following form: Missing Persons Program - Reference Sample Submission Form