Police hope DNA event leads to break in missing person cases - WNEM TV 5

Police hope DNA event leads to break in missing person cases

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Families desperately searching for their missing loved ones are getting crucial help from state and local organizations pooling their resources.

Experts are using DNA technology to possibly crack cases gone cold.

One Mid-Michigan mother is searching for answers in her daughter’s disappearance.

“She always called me every day,” said Connie Rau, mother.

Rau said her daughter Presley vanished without a trace last year.

“She always saw her kids. So, this is not like her to be away from them,” Rau said.

That’s why Rau and her family decided to attend the missing person event. They went to give DNA samples.

Police can link DNA with the remains of unidentified bodies and solve cold cases, even decades later.

Rau believes her daughter is still alive, but gave the DNA sample as a precaution.

“If something does happen to her we want to be able to identify her,” Rau said.

Sara Krebs, with the Michigan State Police, said there is a considerable amount of people missing from Genesee County.

“That’s what we’re trying to whittle down,” Krebs said.

MSP teamed up with the Genesee County Medical Examiner’s Office, NamUs and Crime Stoppers of Flint and Genesee County to make the event happen.

There are 4,500 missing person cases across the state. That’s why MSP is working to host even more DNA events.

Krebs hopes to solve cases in Genesee County and across the country.

The police can get everything they need to know with a quick swab of the cheek.

“The DNA we’re taking goes into our national CODIS system. So, it has the potential to settle the case anywhere in the United States,” Krebs said.

Unidentified remains are housed at medical examiner’s offices throughout Michigan.

“This is really important because a lot of our cases don’t have any DNA on file because DNA for missing persons is a pretty new technology. So, we have a backlog of cases that do not have DNA,” Krebs said.

As for Rau, she holds out hope she will hear the news she has been waiting for.

“That she’s found, that we get some answers,” Rau said.

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