BCA awarded grant to ID human remains samples collected over decadesby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A state agency is launching a year-long effort to put a face and a name to numerous sets of unidentified human remains collected in Minnesota over decades.
A National Institute of Justice grant was awarded to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to test about 100 samples of unidentified human remains for DNA. The samples were collected from the 1970s to 1990s, when DNA testing was not standard practice, BCA lab director Catherine Knutson said. She says the remains have been stored properly in a medical examiner's office.
Families of missing persons are asked to submit DNA samples.
"We need family members who have missing individuals to come forward and make sure their samples on file," Knutson said. "We're very fortunate that we do have what we believe to be the full contingent of what was located and they are being stored appropriately in a medical examiner's office until we can do the examinations that are needed to get their DNA profiles into the database."
If the BCA lab cannot match DNA from unidentified remains to living family members, the DNA profile will be put in a federal database for future comparisons.