The Victorian missing persons DNA database - two interesting case studies

Dadna Hartman, Linda Rose Benton, Michelle Claire Spiden, April Lamande Stock

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The investigation of missing persons often requires the reconciliation of what is known about the missing person in life (ante-mortem information) with information obtained from the post-mortem examination of unknown deceased persons, when the missing person is presumed deceased. In most missing persons cases, the antemortem information will include personal information as well as any dental and medical records; with some also including fingerprint information. In Victoria, this information is captured by Victoria Police using PlassData, as a repository of information. Whilst PlassData can be used to record vital DNA profiling information, what is lacking is the ability to conduct direct or kinship searches to look for matches between missing persons cases and unidentified deceased. In 2010, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, in collaboration with Victoria Police, established the Victorian Missing Persons DNA Database ? capable of conducting kinship and direct searches using both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA profiling data. Here we describe two interesting case studies; the first highlights the need to conduct at least two types of DNA analysis ? such as nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses ? to confirm a match; and the second, the importance of such a database to identify cold cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161 - 172
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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