For Immediate Release September 16, 2003 New statistics released by the U.S. Department of Justice show that as of March 31, 2003, there were 97,297 active missing person cases throughout the United States. President Bush has proposed a DNA Initiative to increase the use of DNA testing in the investigation of missing and unidentified persons cases. Robert Cooke, father of missing Georgetown woman Rachel Cooke, has been invited to attend the inaugural meeting on September 25, 2003, at the headquarters of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. Despite the capability of DNA testing to identify human remains, DNA analysis remains an underutilized tool and is not routinely used in missing person cases. The purpose of the DNA Initiative is to identify the policies and practices that will allow investigative agencies to utilize every available tool, particularly DNA, in missing person cases. Cooke will represent the thousands of families with missing loved ones at the meeting, hosted by the United States Department of Justice. Other attendees at the meeting will include members of missing person agencies, law enforcement agents, DNA experts, and members of the U.S. Justice Department.