Local News

Identification Kits Help Parents Prepare for the Unthinkable

Posted September 28, 1998

— Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of a young boy whose body was found Monday in Orange County.

They say dental records may be the only way to identify him, but there are things parents can do to help police.

Losing a child is something no one likes to think about. But when a child is missing, time is of the essence. If parents have things like recent photographs, fingerprints and even DNA samples, they can help investigators do their jobs faster.

The state offers a child identification kit through local law enforcement agencies. The kit contains a DNA sample, fingerprints, a photo and personal information.

"If a child is missing, the child identification kit is a very valuable tool to aid law enforcement agencies in helping to locate missing children," said Gwynn Swinson, Deputy Attorney General.

Companies like I.D. For Me offer a photo identification which parents can carry in their wallets. This can be used to initiate an immediate search for a missing child.

"They don't want to think about their child ever becoming missing," explained Tracye Wheless of I.D. For Me. "It's hard to accept the fact that something could happen to them."

Teeth are still the best way to identify someone. Dentists are often called upon to match dental x-rays with missing people.

"A lot of times that is the only hard evidence that you have, especially if they're badly decomposed or there's been a plane crash or another traumatic event. The only hard evidence you have are the teeth and the arrangement of fillings in the teeth," said Dr. William Wynne.

If you're interested in getting a child identification kit, you can call your local police department or sheriff's department.

It's difficult to think about, but investigators say it can save a child's life or bring closure to a painful ordeal.

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