Missing Person’s Cases: New NamUs Data Fields Focused on American Indian and Alaska Natives

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), through the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (www.NamUs.gov) program, is committed to increasing data and case information to address the number of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native men and women.
 
In order to further this important initiative, NIJ has added new data fields to NamUs. For missing person cases, these fields include the following questions:
• Was the missing person last seen on tribal land under the jurisdiction of the United States?
• Was the missing person’s primary residence on tribal land under the jurisdiction of the United States?
• Was the missing person enrolled or affiliated with a state- or federally-recognized tribe? If yes, the names of specific tribes will be made available through a pre-populated pick-list.
For unidentified and unclaimed person cases, the following new field will be included:
• Was the person found deceased on tribal land under the jurisdiction of the United States?
 
These fields have been added to NamUs to better gather relevant information related to the investigation of a missing and/or unidentified indigenous person case, in the hope of resolving more cases, and to foster better communication across tribal, local, state, and federal jurisdictions.
 
Many of these fields require an answer to complete a case submission; however, there will be options to indicate if certain information is unknown or unavailable. Upon acceptance, all tribal enrollment/affiliation and the location of the missing person’s primary residence will only be visible to professional users that are linked to the case as a Case Contributor.
 
If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact your NamUs Regional Program Specialist, or call NamUs toll-free at 1-855-626-7600.