SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Last week, state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, passed legislation that will ensure that coroners and medical examiners work with police to send DNA samples and other investigative information when unidentified human remains are found to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) in order to identify remains promptly and accurately.
“Making sure that Illinois coroners and law enforcement work together when unidentified remains are found to send samples and information to NamUs will make identifying missing persons who are deceased far quicker and more accurate,” Connor said. “Collecting DNA samples and investigation information from unidentified human remains and sending it to this national clearinghouse will help bring closure to people seeking missing persons.”
Connor’s House Bill 4348 requires coroners and law enforcement to coordinate to attempt to identify human remains by sending packets of DNA samples, photos, X-rays and other information to NamUS for advanced DNA profiling at a laboratory at the University of North Texas. The North Texas lab performs mitochondrial DNA testing using equipment not currently at the Illinois State Police lab.
“Currently, not every coroner or police department in Illinois submits DNA samples and report packets on unidentified bodies to NamUS, even though it’s federally funded and free to local law enforcement,” Connor said. “With greater participation, we can make this national network more comprehensive and help to bring closure to families who have lost loved ones.”
For more information on this legislation, please contact Connor’s constituent service office at 815-372-0085 or RepConnor@gmail.com.