Unidentified Deceased Initiative

A joint initiative which began in 2006 between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearing house (MEPIC) and the Florida Medical Examiners Commission to identify Florida’s unidentified deceased.

The purpose of the Unidentified Deceased Initiative is to gather resources and methods to help identify deceased persons and bring renewed attention to the unidentified persons in Florida.
With technology advancements the chances of matches between long term missing person cases and unidentified deceased persons have increased. Due to these enhancements, law enforcement agencies and medical examiners are encouraged to resubmit case information for further evaluation. FDLE provides both analytical and investigative support services AND crime laboratory services that may be requested by law enforcement and medical examiners.  

Analytical and investigative support may generate leads by searching:
  • Death certificates
  • Court records
  • Files and forensic reports from medical examiners and law enforcement
  • Biometric systems
  • NamUS/Doe Network/NCMEC/FLUIDDB
  • Criminal History systems
  • Employment records
  • School records
  • Social media
  • Business and financial records
  • Possible contact lists for anthropologists, odontologists, forensic artists and other specialists
Law enforcement agencies requesting analytical and investigative support for unidentified cases may contact MEPIC at 1-888-FL Missing (356-4774) and ask for the Unidentified Deceased analyst during regular business hours. You may also email MEPIC@fdle.state.fl.us for additional information.

Forensic Services

Florida Statute 943.32 establishes a statewide criminal analysis laboratory system composed of the six FDLE crime laboratories in Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Tampa as well as the five county crime laboratories in Broward, Indian River, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Pinellas Counties. The State Fire Marshall’s Office operates a Forensic Arson Laboratory in Gadsden County. Many Medical Examiners’ Offices either conduct or contract for post-mortem forensic toxicology services. FDLE laboratories will provide specific testing services for law enforcement customers of any jurisdiction, if a particular forensic discipline is not offered by that area’s county crime laboratory.   
Please visit the FDLE Forensic Services Webpage for information on the 10 Forensic Disciplines (briefly described below) and two additional services (DNA Database, Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy) offered by the FDLE.  Additional information regarding DNA analysis types (DRS, FRS, STR, Y-STR, mtDNA) in missing person cases may be viewed here.
  • Biology: body fluid screening, STR DNA testing, Y-STR DNA testing, CODIS
    • Note the Biology section accepts Direct Reference Samples from Missing Persons, Family Reference Samples from Relatives of Missing Persons (parent/child/full sibling only), and Unidentified Human Remains Specimen
  • Crime Scene: documentation, collection and preservation of physical evidence
  • Digital Evidence: data retrieval and video enhancement, from all sorts of devices
  • Document Examination: handwriting analysis, authentication, restorations
  • Firearms: cartridge casing analysis; firearm functionality; GSR testing; NIBIN
  • Footwear & Tire: detection, preservation, and comparison of shoe and tire impressions
  • Friction Ridge: detection, preservation, and comparison of latent prints; BIS; NGI
  • Seized Drugs: chemical analysis of drugs; GC, GC-MS, IR; plants, powders, pills
  • Toxicology: ante-mortem analysis of blood and urine for alcohol and impairing drugs
  • Trace Materials: small to microscopic evidence such as paint, polymers, glass, or fibers
Law enforcement agencies should contact their regional crime laboratories for additional information regarding submission of evidence in Missing Persons and Unidentified Human Remains cases. The “DNA Consent Form for Relatives of Missing Persons” and “Familial Search Request Form” are available to law enforcement at CJNET - FDLE Evidence Prelog (must be logged into a computer capable of accessing FLCJN). 

Additional Resources

Databases, Law Enforcement Information, Contacts: Forensics:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Priorities

FDLE is composed of five areas: Executive Direction and Business Support, Criminal Investigations and Forensic Science, Criminal Justice Information, Criminal Justice Professionalism and Florida Capitol Police. FDLE’s duties, responsibilities and procedures are mandated through Chapter 943, FS, and Chapter 11, FAC. To learn more about these areas, read our Statement of Agency Organization and Operation or visit our Open Government page.