DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston has released more information about an inaugural event to help a new task force figure out the identities of more than 20 John and Jane Does.
The District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office, will host a Missing Persons and DNA Drive at the Covington Library, located at 3500 Covington Highway in Decatur, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 20.
“This event is for families and friends who are searching for their missing loved ones,” stated officials. “Officers from each department within DeKalb County will be present to take new reports or add to existing reports. There will also be opportunities to have these reports entered into national databases. Family members will also be able to donate DNA for uploading to CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) and genealogy databases.”
Participants are asked to bring photos of missing loved ones, photos of tattoos, copies of any previously filed police reports, medical documentation, and any identification documents of missing loved ones.
Families wishing to submit DNA samples are asked to bring two family members – one from a mother’s side and one from a father’s side – of a missing loved one’s family tree, if possible, for the most effective CODIS search.
To collect DNA through saliva, participants will be asked to rub a cotton swab on the inside of the cheek, stated Patrick Bailey, director of the Medical Examiner’s Office for DeKalb County.
Boston recently announced the formation of the DeKalb County Cold Case Task Force, a coalition consisting of staff from DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office, the FBI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, DeKalb County Police Department, and a private lab partner, Innovative Forensic Investigations.
The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office has been awarded a three-year Missing and Unidentified Human Remains Program grant in the amount of $500,000 to fund efforts to identify other remains found in DeKalb County. The funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs and Bureau of Justice Assistance, is intended for use in improving the reporting, transportation, processing, and identification of missing persons and unidentified human remains, according to the DOJ website.
“The DeKalb County Cold Case Task Force will use these funds to catalog, report, test, identify, and return to families the unidentified remains of 27 individuals,” stated Boston.
For more information, visit www.dekalbda.org.