National Missing Persons DNA Program
The National Missing Persons DNA Program (NMPDP) helps with missing persons and unidentified remains investigations by combining support from:
- the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR)
- the National DNA Data Bank (NDDB)
The program allows the NDDB to:
- retain or compare DNA profiles from non-criminal missing persons or unidentified remains investigations
- offer closure to families and friends of missing persons by identifying human remains or exhausting all investigative avenues
The Program maintains three non-criminal/humanitarian DNA indices.
- Missing Persons Index (MPI)
This index containsDNA profiles of missing persons from personal effects, such as a toothbrush, hairbrush or razor.
- Relatives of Missing Persons Index (RMI)
This index contains DNA profiles voluntarily submitted by close relatives of the missing person. These profiles are used to:
- confirm the profile of the missing person obtained from personal effects
- compare DNA profiles in the Human Remains Index
- Human Remains Index (HRI)
This index contains DNA profiles from found human remains, which are compared to all other indices.
The NDDB maintains four criminal DNA indices:
- Convicted Offenders Index (COI)
- Crime Scene Index (CSI)
- The Victims Index (VI)
- The Voluntary Donors Index (VDI)
These NDDB indices are not part of the NMPDP. However, comparisons will be made between these indices, the Missing Persons Index and the Human Remains Index.
Humanitarian indices and privacy
The DNA Identification Act describes how investigators can use humanitarian DNA. There are restrictions built into the legislation to prevent the misuse of indices.
In addition, there are four requirements that address the comparison and communication of DNA information in the legislation:
- It is an offence for anyone to use or communicate any DNA information for a purpose other than that which is stated in the Act.
- There are restrictions on which DNA profiles can be compared from one index to another. The Relatives of Missing Persons Index may only be compared to the Missing Persons Index and the Human Remains Index, and not to any of the criminal indices.
- There is a clear distinction between uses for criminal purposes and uses for humanitarian purposes (specifically, assisting investigations of missing persons or unidentified remains).
- The conditions required to share information from a match/association vary depending on the index. Those conditions are set out in the Act.
For more information about the National Missing Persons DNA Program, please contact NCMPUR at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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