Missing Person Identification Projects
Bode is a leader in providing forensic DNA analysis to governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and disaster management organizations throughout the United States and around the world. Operating one of the most internationally respected private DNA laboratories, Bode’s forensic DNA experts have assisted in identifying victims of war, terrorism, airline crashes, crime, civil conflicts, and natural disasters, including the attack on the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, the war in Bosnia, and the remains of U.S. soldiers dating back to the Vietnam War. Bode’s Humanitarian team has performed work on compromised samples to assist in the identification of victims of mass disasters. Through these efforts, Bode has optimized protocols for the successful extraction and amplification of DNA from highly degraded and environmentally challenged samples. Our experience in working with more than 25,000 skeletal samples from more than a dozen nations and hundreds of burial sights has lead to the development and improvement of multiple DNA extraction, purification, and amplification protocols which can be used to obtain superior results. Bode is currently assisting several nations in large-scale human identification projects of those who have been missing for several decades. Bode receives reference samples and skeletal remains from either governmental representatives in other nations or from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) partners. Each sample is DNA profiled and the results entered into either the Reference DNA database or Missing DNA database. We use software to compare these two databases and generate DNA reports for matches that meet a predetermined statistical threshold.
One of our success stories in obtaining DNA profiles from highly challenged samples is the processing of remains from the World Trade Center attack. Bode was successful in obtaining DNA profiles from bones samples that had previously failed to produce DNA profiles. This led to the reopening of the World Trade Center victim identification efforts which resulted in new identifications. Our ability to obtain STR profiles from skeletal remains significantly reduces the need to perform the more expensive, time consuming, and less discriminating mitochondrial testing.
More recently, Bode has had success with obtaining miniSTR profiles from degraded skeletal remains using Applied Biosystems’ AmpFlSTR® MiniFiler™ PCR Amplification Kit. We also perform Y-STR and mitochondrial testing as needed. For information on additional DNA analysis methods please see the Technologies section. Bode can provide assistance in a variety of ways, including outsourcing of samples to Bode for testing, training scientists at Bode, training scientists at the host laboratory, assistance in management of a DNA laboratory, obtaining ISO accreditation, or for other needs particular to a nation.
If your agency has unidentified human remains cases, please contact us at (866) 263-3443 x787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bode Technology is once again applying for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) grant, “Using DNA Technology to Identify the Missing.” Using the NIJ funding, Bode is able to accept unidentified human remains and family reference samples from state and local governments and process the remains using both STR and mitochondrial DNA analysis free of charge.Bode was the only private DNA laboratory participating in this NIJ funding opportunity. The funding is provided to assist the efforts of state and local governments in performing DNA analysis on unidentified human remains and/or family reference samples, and generating DNA profiles that will be uploaded into the FBI’s National Missing Persons DNA Database. Currently both mitochondrial and STR profiles can be entered into this database searched at the national level. Bode is working with the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI) to facilitate the upload of the unidentified skeletal remains and family reference samples into the National Missing Persons DNA Database. Once Bode has processed the samples, the DNA data will be sent to UNTCHI to be uploaded into the National Missing Persons DNA Database.
Funding the DNA testing for unidentified remains and family reference samples is just one part of the program that the NIJ has developed in an effort to solve missing persons cases throughout the country. See the NIJ Journal Article, Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains: The Nation’s Silent Mass Disaster, for more information on NIJ’s missing persons program.
If your agency has unidentified human remains cases,
please contact us at (866) 263-3443 x787 or email@example.com.
There is no charge to your agency for the DNA testing or upload of the unidentified remains and/or family reference samples into the National Missing Persons DNA Database.
Steps for Submitting Samples
1) Contact us: Contact Bode at (866) 263 – 3443 x787 to discuss your missing persons and unidentified human remains cases. We will need to know the nature of the case and the samples that are available for testing. Acceptable samples include bone, teeth, blood cards and soft tissue.
2) Sample Submission: Samples for DNA Analysis should be shipped directly to Bode. Bode will process the samples for both STR and mitochondrial DNA analysis and provide UNTCHI with the DNA data for inclusion into the FBI’s Missing Persons DNA Database. Download a submission form using the links below. You will need to include a copy of the Medical Examiner/Forensic Pathologist, Forensic Anthropologist, and Investigator reports that are available. The samples, submission form, and reports should be shipped to Bode at the address below.
Shipping address for submission of samples for DNA analysis:
Attn: Evidence Department
10430 Furnace Rd. Suite 107
Lorton, VA 22079
Download the appropriate submission form. You will need to complete one form for each unidentified human remains (PDF) case. For the family reference samples (PDF), complete one form per family member. Submission form for direct reference specimens (PDF).
For guidelines on shipping the samples, please refer to our packaging and shipping guidelines.
3) Reporting and Turnaround Time: Once Bode has completed the DNA testing, a report will be provided to the law enforcement agency. At this time, any data/profile obtained from the samples will be sent to UNTCHI for upload and remaining physical samples will be returned by Bode to the law enforcement agency. There is not a guaranteed turnaround time to complete the testing; however Bode aims to complete the DNA analysis for each sample within 3 – 6 months. Challenging samples that have to be reprocessed may take additional time.