Texas Missing Persons Database

University of North Texas Health Science Center

The state legislature established the Texas Missing Persons DNA Database in 2001 on the UNT Health Science Center campus with funding provided by the Attorney General's Crime Victims' Compensation Fund. The database began accepting samples from Texas law enforcement agencies in March 2003. Texas was the first state in the country with a Missing Persons DNA Database capable of analyzing both Mitochondrial and STR systems and is the first state to participate in the federal database for missing persons (The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Combined DNA Index System or CODIS). The database provides a very powerful tool for investigators trying to locate missing persons or identify remains by allowing federal, state, and local crime laboratories to electronically exchange and compare DNA profiles. The DNA analysis provided by the Texas Missing Persons DNA Database is at no charge to law enforcement agencies or families with missing members.

The UNT Center for Human IdentificationLaboratory has provided scientific and technical support for Texas law enforcement agencies and crime labs for more than 10 years. The lab is one of only a handful of facilities that is able to conduct mitochondrial forensic DNA analysis and is currently one of two state laboratories that can submit mitochondrial DNA profiles directly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Entry of DNA profiles into the CODIS database is an ongoing process resulting in numerous matches and providing closure for many families.