Government of Canada announces launch of the RCMP’s National Missing Persons DNA Program
OTTAWA – March 12, 2018 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement:
“While the vast majority of missing persons are located within days, some are not. These cases are heart-wrenching for family and friends, and potentially dangerous in cases of foul-play.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the RCMP’s new National Missing Persons DNA Program is now operational and accepting biological samples and DNA profiles. The launch of the program follows over four years of planning, consultations and preparation, and provides all Canadian police with a new tool that could help in missing persons and unidentified remains investigations across Canada.
Legislative amendments (“Lindsey’s Law”) to the DNA Identification Act have enabled the RCMP to expand the national use of DNA analysis through the creation of three new humanitarian indices within the RCMP’s National DNA Data Bank (NDDB):
- Missing Persons Index – DNA profiles of missing persons developed from personal effects, such as a toothbrush or an article of clothing.
- Human Remains Index – DNA profiles from found human remains.
- Relatives of Missing Persons Index – DNA profiles voluntarily submitted by close relatives of the missing, and used to either help identify the missing person, or to compare to DNA profiles in the Human Remains Index.
Two new criminal indices will also be created:
- The Victims Index – Voluntary DNA profiles from victims of crime, which could help police identify serial offenders and link crime scenes.
- The Voluntary Donors Index – DNA profiles voluntarily submitted by any person, other than a victim, to advance a criminal, missing persons or unidentified human remains investigation.
Working with the RCMP’s National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains, biological samples and DNA profiles for missing persons and human remains investigations will be submitted by police, coroners and medical examiners across Canada to the RCMP’s NDDB laboratory in Ottawa for analysis.
While not a solution for all cases, the National Missing Persons DNA Program will be a valuable tool for police to help bring closure to loved ones.”
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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