Focus On

RCMP’s new DNA collection program designed to help find missing people

Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:01 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

The federal government intends to make it easier to track missing people across Canada through the creation of the RCMP’s National Missing Persons DNA Program.

The program will involve a number of components:

  • The missing persons index will include DNA profiles of missing persons developed from personal effects, such as a toothbrush or an article of clothing.
  • The human remains index will include DNA profiles from found human remains. 
  • The relatives of missing persons index will contain DNA profiles voluntarily submitted by close relatives of the missing, and used to either help identify the missing person, or to compare to DNA profiles in the human remains index.

All three of these will reside within the RCMP's National DNA Data Bank (NDDB).

Additionally, two new criminal indices will be created: the victims index will contain voluntary DNA profiles from victims of crime, which could help police identify serial offenders and link crime scenes; while the voluntary donors index will have DNA profiles voluntarily submitted by any person, other than a victim, to advance a criminal, missing persons or unidentified human remains investigation.

“While the vast majority of missing persons are located within days, some are not. These cases are heart-wrenching for family and friends, and potentially dangerous in cases of foul play,” said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale.

“That's why I’m pleased to announce that the RCMP’s new National Missing Persons DNA Program is now operational and accepting biological samples and DNA profiles. The launch of the program follows over four years of planning, consultations and preparation, and provides all Canadian police with a new tool that could help in missing persons and unidentified remains investigations across Canada.”