Family DNA collection scheme returns to parts of NSW

Family members of missing persons across NSW are again being encouraged to provide a DNA sample to police as part of a family DNA collection program which will resume from next week.

The program aims to assist detectives in ongoing investigations of historical missing persons by collecting familial DNA samples from the families of long-term missing persons.

Last year (2021), more than 100 biological relatives of missing persons visited pop-up collection centers in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Nowra and Merimbula to provide DNA samples which are then matched against profiles of all bodies unidentified and available human remains in NSW.

Commander of the Missing Persons Registry (MPR), Detective Inspector Glen Browne, said the more DNA samples available for comparison, the greater the chance of matching a family and providing some answers.

“The success of the program hinges on collecting as many family DNA samples as possible so they can be compared to DNA profiles obtained from unidentified bodies and human remains,” Inspector- Detective Browne.

“Unfortunately, like most things in 2021, our family DNA collection program was impacted by the pandemic and we were unable to visit a number of regional sites across the state as originally planned.

“We will also take the opportunity to interview family members and capture other necessary data and information for uploading to the National System of Victims of Missing Persons (VOLMPU) database.

“My MPR team is committed to seeing this technology used to provide answers to relatives of long-lost people, so if that’s you, come forward and provide a DNA sample,” the inspector said- Detective Browne.

Familial DNA samples are provided by mouth swab and are only matched against Australia’s missing persons databases.

Deputy Prime Minister and Police Minister Paul Toole said the scheme was an example of the police’s continued commitment to achieving an outcome in unsolved cases.

“This is a quick and easy action that can result in lifelong closure for someone who has lost a loved one and spent years wondering why,” Mr Toole said.

“The police are using every means at their disposal to give these families the answers they deserve.”

LOCATION (1) Back O’Bourke Information and Exhibition Centre, Kidman Way,

Bourke, New South Wales 2840

DATE & TIME Monday, June 27, 2022

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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LOCATION (2) State Office Building (Aboriginal Land Councils)

Level 2, 32 Sulphide Street, Broken Hill, NSW 2880

DATE & TIME Wednesday, June 29, 2022

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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LOCATION (3) Dubbo Regional Theater & Convention Centre,

155 Darling Street, Dubbo, NSW 2830

DATES & TIMES Friday July 1, 2022

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Dates and venues for South and North New South Wales are yet to be confirmed.

Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. The information is treated in a strictly confidential manner. The public are reminded not to report information through the NSW Police social media pages.

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