DNA Testing

Families Search For Answers At Medical Examiner's Office On Missing Persons Day

May 18, 2019 - 4:37 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Family and friends searching for answers turned to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office Saturday afternoon for the third annual Missing Persons Day.

Chief Medical Examiner Ponni Arunkumar said the day is designed for those with loved ones missing for more than a month.

"They can come with medical records, dental records that they have, photographs that they have," she said. "It is a little sad but this is the final step that family members can come to and take part in every process they can to identify their loved ones."

A number of agencies and experts were on hand to provide guidance and in some cases, collect DNA samples from relatives. Alice Grissett is hoping her fingerprints and new photos will lead to new information about her missing brother.

"I'm glad they're doing this," Grissett said. "I never knew nothing like this existed. It makes me feel a lot better, knowing that they're going to get the information out there for me and my family. We need closure."

With 16,000 open cases, Arunkumar said outreach is crucial.

"That is the key to help the number of cases go down."