How to Use the National System to Find Missing and Unidentified Persons
When a family member or loved one goes missing, people file a police report, or hire private investigators. In addition to these resources, there is also the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).
NamUs, a site run by the Department of Justice, is a database of missing and unidentified persons. The site can be used for online searches, adding up-to-date facts and information to a case, and even volunteering to help with investigations.
NamUs also offers free forensics services like DNA tests, which can be used to help investigators identify missing or unidentified people.
The missing persons database
This system provides quick and advanced search options just by inputting basic information such as first and last name, gender, and the state in which the missing person was last seen.
To create a missing person file, you must register and enter the information requested by the system. Once access is given, you can create a file, modify the information, and share any new details with authorities handling the case.
The unidentified and unclaimed persons database
Sometimes police officers recover a body of someone who died and could not be identified, or they may be able to identify a body, but it remains unclaimed. In both cases, the coroners are the ones responsible for opening a file in the NamUs system and modifying any new information.
To do a quick or advanced search for an unidentified person, you must enter the person’s information in the corresponding boxes.
If you are searching for an unclaimed person, you can write the person’s name and birth date in the search area. Depending on the search results, you can contact the person in charge of the case to claim the body.
Every missing person fact sheet has contact information for the person or agency handling the case.
Users with general questions about the system can email NamUs at firstname.lastname@example.org.