U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Uniform Protocol to Address Unidentified Human Remains and Missing Persons

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Identification Volume: 60 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2010 Pages: 748-757
Marzena H. Mulawka; Ismail M. Sebetan; Paul C. Stein
Date Published
November 2010
10 pages
This study examined the possibility of a uniform protocol to address unidentified human remains (UHR) and missing persons.
As a result of using the components of the protocol developed during this study, many UHR were identified, including cases dating as far back as 1987. The progression in forensic, scientific, computer, and laboratory information management system technologies has increased the possibility of linking unidentified persons cased and unsolved missing persons cases by means other than investigative leads. Although many medical examiners or coroners offices and law enforcement agencies contain protocols or procedures for the identification of unidentified and missing persons, and inconsistency exists between different jurisdictions on a local and State level. The protocol in this study was developed using currently available procedures which were examined and combined to create a comprehensive and universal procedure. This protocol can be followed by any agency or organization in the forensic science community tasked with identification of UHR or missing persons. 1 figure, 7 references, and 2 appendixes