Georgia Coroners Association – Unidentified Persons Database

Friday January 30, 2009 – Georgia Coroners’ Association President Ralph Wilson says he’s wants to talk about launching the group’s unidentified persons database at the next executive meeting in Macon.

“I’m fixing to push it,” he said Jan. 28.

The association has a link on its Web site for submitting information to an unidentified decedent database, but “to this point, it has not been used,” according to Wilson.

The president said he plans for the Georgia Coroner’s Association to work in conjunction with the National Unidentified Decedent Data System, also known as NamUs. That system allows coroners and medical examiners from all over the country to enter information and to search for unidentified persons.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that the nation’s coroners and medical examiners handle an average of 4,400 unidentified remains combined each year. According to the most recent BJS survey, about 13,500 persons were unidentified by the end of 2004.

Only half of medical examiners and coroners’ offices in 2004 had policies for retaining records on unidentified human remains,” BJS reported.

Wilson said he intends for the Georgia Coroner’s Association to begin making use of the reporting system on its Web site as soon as possible – and in fact, said he already had an unidentified person he needed to add to the database.
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