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DNA Project Leads to Push to Solve Okla Cases (May 30, 2011)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A DNA-based project launched last fall has led to increased efforts to match unidentified human remains in Oklahoma with missing-person cases.

The Tulsa World reports that a handful of state and local law-enforcement agencies announced the "Search for the Missing" project last fall. Among those participating are the state Medical Examiner's office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

One of the project's primary goals is to have family members of missing persons have DNA profiles entered into a national database that lists missing and unidentified persons, in hopes a genetic match will be found.

Authorities say 125 Oklahoma unidentified-remains cases are entered in the database and 113 of those are still open.

Medical Examiner's office spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard says it's "a high priority" to put names with unidentified cases.

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