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February 8, 2005

DPS Spotlights Missing Persons

The Department of Public Safety has released a Project FindME Top 10 poster that highlights 10 Missing and Endangered individuals, whose cases indicate the possibility of foul play.

DPS Special Crimes Service and its Missing Persons Clearinghouse spearhead Project FindME and believe that the monthly focus on each case may generate public awareness and new leads to help solve these cases. In addition to the initial release of the poster, DPS will highlight one missing person from the list each month for ten months.

In 2004, approximately 69,291 missing and endangered persons were reported and entered into the FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC) by law enforcement agencies in Texas. As of Dec. 31, 2004, 6,927 of those remained on the list of active missing persons cases.

“We believe that someone, somewhere, has information that could help investigators solve these disappearances,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., director of the DPS. “The families of these missing people deserve to know what happened to their loved ones.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the nearest DPS Special Crimes office or the Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3243. Individuals could earn up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of person(s) criminally involved in the disappearance of one of the missing persons featured on the poster.

Media representatives who want to learn more about individual cases should contact the local investigating agency for more details on the case.

DPS believes that Project FindME may be the first project of its kind in the country to target missing persons in this format.

The Missing Persons Clearinghouse was established by the Texas Legislature in 1985. It serves as a database for law enforcement and the public on missing persons, including disability, endangered, involuntary, juvenile and catastrophe-related disappearances. The Clearinghouse also serves as a central repository for unidentified deceased and living persons.