The Alaska Department of Public Safety’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse webpage is now updated to provide complete listings of all persons known missing in Alaska from 1960 through December 1, 2019.
The department is inviting the public to visit the page where about 1,240 names are currently listed and help law enforcement keep it current and accurate.
Updated partly in response to public requests, the webpage is the culmination of nearly three years of work that included gathering and researching the status of existing cases overseen by the Alaska State Troopers and police agencies statewide and inputting data from hardcopy records.
The updated webpage includes missing persons’ names, case numbers, dates individuals were reported missing, their general last known location, and the police agency overseeing each case.
Information received from family and friends of missing persons can breathe new life into lingering cases, according to Malia Miller, Missing Persons Clearinghouse Manager. It can also result in new listings being added to the databases.
“I had somebody contact me a couple of weeks ago inquiring about her father who went missing in 1971. After finding the report, I found that he wasn’t officially listed as missing, so I was able to add him today,” said Miller.
Also included on the webpage is a link to missing persons bulletins. Although individuals appearing in the bulletins are also included in the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, bulletins aren’t created for every missing person case.
For example, bulletins are rarely created for those missing in airplane crashes or sunken fishing vessels. The police agency overseeing a missing person case can request a bulletin be created, posted on the website, and distributed to law enforcement agencies statewide.
“In Alaska, missing persons cases remain open until they’re resolved,” Miller said.
To help, relatives of persons reported missing even decades ago are encouraged to inquire about submitting DNA samples and dental records that may be used to identify remains.
“They should contact me and arrange to have a DNA swab taken – even if they don’t live in Alaska,” said Miller. “We can make arrangements with police departments in other states and other countries to provide DNA for the databases.” DNA must be collected by law enforcement and cannot be self-submitted.
To view the updated Missing Persons Clearinghouse webpage and contact information, visit https://dps.alaska.gov/AST/SAR/MissingPerson.