US Justice Dept. Identifying the Missing Conference

Discussion in 'The Search for Rachel Cooke' started by RC, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    For Immediate Release
    April 22, 2005

    The U.S. Department of Justice is developing a national strategy to improve the identification of missing persons and unidentified dead. On Thursday. April 28, and Friday, April 29, law enforcement officials, policymakers, coroners and medical examiners, forensic scientists, and family members of the long-term missing will meet in Philadelphia for the "Identifying the Missing" Conference.

    At the conference, the audience will hear about and discuss the challenges and gaps in the current systems for identifying missing persons, ways to improve dissemination about missing persons, ideas for maximizing resources, and strategies for improving collaboration across fields and jurisdictions so policies and practices are more effective.

    Robert Cooke, the father of missing Rachel Cooke, will attend the conference and speak on the "Reporting the Missing" panel. Robert's daughter, Rachel Cooke, went jogging on the morning of January 10, 2002, and never returned.
  2. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    Way to go that they are having the conference, RC..and way to go that you are going to be a speaker!
  3. Watching You

    Watching You Superior Bee Admin

    I would like a follow up on this, RC. All I can say is, it's about time.
  4. Voyager

    Voyager Active Member

    Just Read This RC.....

    The conference is this weekend....Surely hope that when you get home from the conference that you will post and share everything you learned and let us know what progress is being made in this area....So vitally important to all of us....

  5. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    Conference Highlights

    Several family members of the long term missing attended the First "Identifying the Missing" conference in Philadelphia on April 28 and 29. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department. An agenda may be read at .

    Some of the Highlights are
    1. $14.4 million allocated for solving cold cases With DNA. "Several law enforcement agencies, prosecutor's offices, and crime labs across the country have established innovative programs to review old cases. Often called “cold case units,†these programs have enabled criminal justice officials to solve cases that have languished for years without suspects."
    2. A discussion of how the FBI DNA database, CODIS, works and some of the matches it's made between missing persons and the unidentified dead.
    3. Dr. Emily Craig gave a good explanation how various methods of identification are done.
    3. Both the National Crime Information Database, NCIC, and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Programs, ViCap, databases were explained
    4. Department of Justice resources and goals were described.
    5. Crime statistics compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics were reviewed.
    6. The first day the audience attended two sets of panel presentations. I was a presenter on the "Reporting the Missing" panel.
    7. On the second day, the audience was broken up into six workgroups to identify roadblocks and other problems with finding missing persons and matching missing persons to unidentified remains. The group each contained local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel, forensic medical personnel, and family members of the missing.

    Some of the most moving parts of the conference were when John Bish told his daughter Molly's story and when John Walsh talked about his son's Adam's disappearance, murder, and problems they encountered with evidence.

    AMERICAS MOST WANTED, 48 HOURS, and Greta Van Susteren's producer were in attendance.

    I was honored to be invited to participate in the conference. Other families of the missing and murdered attending were those of Jason Jolkowski, Suzzane Lyall, Carrie Culberson, Stacy McCall, Molly Bish, and of course Adam Walsh.
    Last edited: May 1, 2005
  6. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    I think next week's AMERICAS MOST WANTED will have a segment on the conference. WI, you are so correct. John Walsh said this should have been done 20 years ago.

    I didn't realize that Odis Tool, Henry Lee Lucas' partner, was a major suspect in Adam Walsh's murder.
  7. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    I'm glad it was productive Robert - and more so that you were invited and attended. Everyone who says or even indicates the laws pertaining to crimes against children are archaic are absolutely 1000% correct. It is sad we have to lose our young people to get the laws updated, and to bring the sad-sack laws to the forefront as well. As we have been from day one, we are still here for you and your family Robert! You are never out of our minds or our prayers.
  8. zoomama

    zoomama Active Member


    Robert, that conference sounds like a great shot in the arm for LE everywhere. I'm so glad you were included as you have much to contribute. We are honored here to have you with us. Bravo to you for your contribution. And yes, we continue to keep you and your family in our prayers.
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