ST. PAUL, Minn. - The bodies of five people exhumed last summer remain unidentified so the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is turning to families with missing loved ones for clues.
In a news conference on Tuesday, BCA officials urged those with missing family members to come forward to give DNA samples, in the hopes they may find a match to these unidentified remains.
The BCA exhumed the remains of three men and two women whose identities were unknown at the time of burial -- and at a time when DNA testing was not available.
BCA scientists were able to obtain DNA profiles from the remains but did not find any matches within the state and federal missing person databases.
The exhumed remains include:
-- Female between the ages of 20-25, found dead June 11, 1976 in the Mississippi River, near Lilydale
-- Female between the ages of 16-30, found dead July 20, 1977 in the Mississippi River, near Childs and Warner roads
-- Male between the ages of 20-40, found dead Feb. 7, 1985 in an abandoned building at Kellogg and Wall in St. Paul
-- Male between the ages of 20-50, found dead April 18, 1985 in the Mississippi River, east of the Ford Dam
-- Male between the ages of 35-45, found dead Aug. 27, 1991 in a wooded area, west of Hwy. 61 in St. Paul
Authorities said at the news conference, the time that a person has been missing does not matter -- but the simple act of providing a DNA sample could be the first step in answering a family's agonizing questions.
The BCA will hold a series of DNA collection opportunities across the state, where close family members of missing persons who haven't provided a sample are able to meet with personnel from the BCA.
The times and dates are, as follows:
Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
BCA Headquarters - 1430 Maryland Ave. E., St. Paul
Tuesday, July 18 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Duluth Police Department - 2030 N. Arlington Ave.
Wednesday, July 19 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
BCA Bemidji Regional Office - 3700 Norris Court NW
Thursday, July 27 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Mankato Public Safety Center - 710 S. Front St.
Family members should bring any available information about their missing relative, including dental records and items that may contain the missing person's DNA (baby teeth, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc.).
The DNA will be collected via a cheek swab.
Since the BCA began its larger unidentified remains effort began in 2013, five people have been identified through DNA testing.
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