Advances in technology have many real-world applications—and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System http://www.namus.gov/ (NamUs) is putting them all to good use. A clearinghouse for information and records on missing persons and unidentified decedents, the NamUs system automatically cross-matches key information between databases, searching for matches or similarities among cases. With links to services, tools for printing missing person posters, and the capacity to create maps of possible travel routes, NamUs helps users to be proactive in their search for a missing person.
Anyone can submit information to the Missing Persons Database; NamUs staff will verify it before releasing it on the Web. In addition, the Unidentified Decedents Database contains information about people who have died and whose bodies have not been identified. The public can search this database using various physical characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, distinct physical features, and even dental information.
When a new case is entered into its database, NamUs also provides free DNA testing and other forensic services.