OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will soon begin profiling missing person cases, the agency announced Tuesday.
OHP, the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System will begin profiling unidentified person cases involving collision drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, spanning the last 44 years.
The goal of highlighting the collision cases where the occupant's identity is unknown will be to attempt to identify a living relative and return the unidentified person’s remains back to the family.
“The OHP’s unidentified person cases are occupants or pedestrians who were killed in vehicle crashes, many of which occurred on interstate roadways, so the unidentified person is likely from another state,” said OHP Captain Ronnie Hampton with the Traffic Homicide Program.
A case and its details will be released periodically through news releases and social media, requesting assistance from the public and the media by sharing the stories.
The identification of missing and unidentified persons is a significant problem both in our state and across the nation, the OHP said in a news release.
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System is the National Institute of Justice’s free online system that provides a national centralized repository and resource center for missing persons and unidentified decedent records.
It can be searched by medical examiners, law enforcement, and the public from all over the country in hopes of resolving cases.
“Our goal is to bring attention to these valuable resources for Oklahomans who may have friends or relatives who have been missing for many years, and to reunite family members with their loved one's remains,” Hampton said.
There are several ways a person may become missing:
- victims of violent crimes
- lost in wooded areas
- involved in vehicle collisions
- fallen into water and never recovered
- voluntary missing person who died of natural causes with no form of identity found
If you have a missing friend or relative, you can see if a case was generated by searching the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System website.
If you have family members or friends who have missing loved ones, no matter how old the incident, you can reach a National Missing and Unidentified Persons System representative by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-855-626-7600.
"We ask for the public’s help in sharing information about these cases and this valuable tool, and we appreciate your assistance in contributing to the identification of the future profiled cases," Hampton said.