HARRISBURG – While the majority of missing persons cases get resolved rather quickly, Pennsylvania currently has approximately 400 such cases where investigators are still looking for answers. Legislation authored by state Reps. Lynda Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) and David Millard (R-Columbia) would provide another tool to help law enforcement reduce that number.
“Rep. Millard and I both have a ‘cold case’ in our district, which is the reason we became interested in the issue,” said Culver. “House Bill 930 would give law enforcement another tool in the effort to bring some level of closure to the loved ones of these missing individuals.”
House Bill 930
, which passed the House unanimously today, would require the Pennsylvania State Police to turnover DNA samples of missing persons and unidentified decedents to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS), a nationwide clearinghouse that went online in 2008. NAMUS has expanded in subsequent years by linking with other national databases and collaborated with the FBI in 2012 to add a fingerprint unit to its search capability.
“If House Bill 930 becomes law, Pennsylvania would become only the 11th state where this requirement would be made of state law enforcement,” Millard added. “NAMUS is also unique compared to other databases because family members of missing persons can access it free of charge through a confidentiality program, allowing them to contribute directly to investigations and making them active participants in the search as a way to help them keep alive the memory of their loved one.”
Representative David Millard
109th Legislative District
Representative Lynda Culver
108th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives