Client Events, ImaginePublicity

ImaginePublicity Endorses Bill For Missing Persons

Every year tens of thousands of Americans go missing, never to be seen by their loved ones
again. At the same time, there are also an estimated 40,000 sets of unidentified human remains
that are being held or disposed of across the country. Sadly, because of gaps in the nation’s
missing persons systems, missing persons and unidentified remains are rarely matched. Help
Find the Missing Act is an effort to fix these problems and bring closure to the loved ones of the
missing.

This legislation is named after Billy Smolinski of Waterbury, Connecticut who went missing on
August 24, 2004 at the age of 31. Billy’s family knows all-too-well the systemic challenges in
trying to find the missing. They quickly learned that while federal law mandates law
enforcement report missing children, there are no such requirements for adults – or unidentified
bodies. Compounding this problem is the fact that local law enforcement agencies, medical
examiners, and coroners, often don’t have the resources or training to voluntarily report these
cases. Finally, even when missing adults and remains are reported, the wide-range of
unconnected federal, state, local, and non-profit databases to help match the missing with
unidentified bodies, makes finding a match an often insurmountable challenge.

Billy’s Law builds upon recent efforts to address these issues by:

1.Authorizing, and therefore helping to ensure funding for, the National Missing Persons
and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which was created in July 2007 by the
Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide a missing persons/unidentified database that the
public could access and contribute ;

2.Connecting NamUs with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in order
to create more comprehensive missing persons and unidentified remains databases and
streamlining the reporting process for local law enforcement;

3.Creating an incentive grants program to help states, local law enforcement and medical
examiners/coroners report missing persons and unidentified remains to NCIC, NamUs,
and the National DNA Index System (NDIS); and

4.Calling on the DOJ to issue guidelines and best practices on handling missing persons
and unidentified remains cases in order to empower law enforcement, medical examiners
and coroners to help find the missing.

Linda Forman
Legislative Assistant
Office of Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-05)
412 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202.225.4476 (p)
202.225.5933 (f)

For the most comprehensive and up to date information and discussion, please refer to PEACE4 THE MISSING.

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