Extraordinary response to Missing Persons Registry familial DNA collection pilot program

Search for answers: A pop-up familial DNA collection centre is kept busy. Photo: NSW Police

Search for answers: A pop-up familial DNA collection centre is kept busy. Photo: NSW Police

A DNA collection program is offering fresh hope for answers to families of long-term missing persons.

The NSW Police Force launched the pilot program on the Mid-North Coast to gather DNA samples from biological relatives of missing persons.

The program aims to help detectives with ongoing historic missing persons investigations.

Relatives have provided DNA samples at pop-up collection centres at Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

Samples will be used for the purposes of connecting familial DNA to unidentified bodies and human remains in a bid to identify the remains.

Missing Persons Registry manager Detective Inspector Glen Browne said the response from families to the program had been extraordinary.

The Port Macquarie Historic Courthouse hosted a Missing Persons Registry pop-up familial DNA collection centre.

The Port Macquarie Historic Courthouse hosted a Missing Persons Registry pop-up familial DNA collection centre.

"It has been more successful than I could have imagined," he said.

"The families have struggled for so long to get answers and a number of them have come along and have shed tears simply because they have held onto these things for so long and struggled without knowing what happened to their loved one."

NSW has more than 750 long-term missing people and about 330 unidentified bodies or human remains cases.

Advances in science have led to the familial DNA linking capability.

Direct DNA matching is often not possible in long-term missing persons cases.

More familial DNA collection centres at other regional NSW locations will be announced shortly.

This story DNA program brings hope to families of long-term missing first appeared on Port Macquarie News.