DETROIT (WWJ) – Family DNA samples will be collected next week to help solve missing person cases and identify unclaimed bodies at the Wayne County Morgue.

Families of missing people are encouraged to bring police reports, photos, x-rays, and medical and dental records to the event.

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Michigan State Police Detective Trooper Sarah Krebs said she hopes they can connect families to their missing loved ones.

“One of the ways that we do that is by collecting family reference samples, and all that is is the DNA swab from a biological donor of the missing person. That would be a maternal family member,” Krebs told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Zahra Huber. “And we put them into our database and we try to connect those cases to the unidentified remains.”

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Krebs said she thinks there’s somewhat of a disconnect between the law enforcement agencies that taking missing persons reports and the bodies that “are stacking up” at the medical examiner’s facilities.

“And we are trying to identify them as quickly as we can but unfortunately sometimes ‘A’ doesn’t talk to ‘B’ and we have a problem with getting the notifications out there that these are the same people,” Krebs said.

The “Identify the Missing” event will be held next Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, 1300 E. Warren Ave., in Detroit.

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To set up an appointment or for more information, send Krebs an email at: krebss@michigan.gov.