BCA asking families of missing persons for DNA to identify remains

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is asking families of missing persons to come forward for DNA testing, as they look to close several cold cases.

The BCA recently exhumed the remains of five people—three men and two women—from Twin Cities cemeteries. Their identities were unknown at the time of burial and DNA testing was not available.

Thanks to advancements in technology and funding from federal grants, scientists were able to dig up the remains and get DNA samples. Unfortunately, they were unable to find any DNA matches in state and federal missing person databases.

“It’s very apparent that there are several families out there who have missing loved ones who maybe have not known to come forward or not ready to come forward,” said BCA Lab Director Catherine Knutson.

Knutson and her colleagues would like family of missing persons, who haven’t already submitted DNA samples, to attend upcoming collection events across the state of Minnesota.

Collection events include:

• July 15, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at BCA Headquarters in St. Paul
• July 18, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Duluth Police Department
• July 19, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the BCA Bemidji office
• July 27, Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Mankato Public Safety Center

The five bodies they are looking to identify were discovered between 1976 and 1991.

There are at least 100 sets of human remains that have been located in Minnesota thus far. Knutson says they’ve been able to get DNA samples from about 50 percent of those.