missing person from 1925 - how can i help law enforcement ID his remains?

+13 votes

My grandfather's beloved uncle Walter Steeves went missing on a trip to California approx 1925.  

The recent GEDmatch security breach showed (briefly) a victim ID kit that seemed to be from that side of the family in a possible cM range.

Of course it could be a totally different one of my thousands of Steeves cousins, or a complete error from every angle.  But it got me thinking.   If Walter's remains are ever found and his DNA ever makes it to a lab, I want the researchers to have a fighting chance of picking him out of the family tree as a possible missing person from that time period.

Until all this happened, Walter's profile here at WikiTree just looked like any other branch that no-one was following up on.  In the last few days, i've tried to indicate something about his fate, hoping that would help him be considered as a candidate for his own DNA if it ever showed up.

Is there anything more i can do with Walter's profile to help John Doe researchers make the connection, if that day ever comes?



WikiTree profile: Walter Steeves
in The Tree House by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (223k points)

I found the Missing Persons category,  copied the [[Category:Missing Persons]] thingy from one of the profiles already in that category, and added it to Walter's profile.  

Was it okay for me to do that?

2 Answers

+2 votes
Hi Shirlea,

I have a thought, do you have a picture of him and your father or mother? If someone on Wiki Tree can see him? Or they might put some light on everything and that you would have a new path to follow. Remember it is a thought.
by Sem Eik G2G6 (6.0k points)
Thanks Sem!  I don't have a picture of him.  But i will renew my efforts to find one!  Thanks for the boost!


+4 votes
As the only child of a missing person (Vincent Greene) I can't thank you enough for caring. So many of the historical missing persons cases just get forgotten about, and it just kills me.

Because he was missing in the USA, you should try to get someone who shares his Y DNA to take a test and share it on GEDmatch. After that, email someone on the NameUS database website. Tell them that the person who took the test with the Y DNA is on the GEDmatch database and shared with law enforcement, and give them the kit number. Remember to give them the whole story about the missing person, everything that you know, and their full name and date and location of birth.

They deal with this every day, so they probably won't be encouraging. They weren't with me. But you have to do everything that YOU can to find peace. Maybe, eventually, they will convert ALL of their historical unidentified remains data into the same format as GEDmatch, and the work you do will make the world of a difference to some of your close family.

In the meantime, I'm on your side.
by Sheri Richard G2G Crew (810 points)
Gedmatch is an excellent place to add results however Gedmatch does not take yDNA results, so when you find a relative you want to test have them take an autosomal DNA test to add the results to gedmatch.

This may also be a helpful location: https://dnadoeproject.org/
Thank you so, so much, this will help me too. The police are really going to test someone's Y-DNA in my case, it seems like. I've been fighting with them over the fact that DNA could be useful for about a decade now. *sheesh* My dad's case is also complicated by the fact that the Atlantic Ocean doesn't respect the border between the USA and Canada, too.

Depending on how receptive the NameUS database agents are to your familiar DNA, you can push to have it shared to Interpol's I-Familia database. It is purpose built for family member's DNA and is an international database. Sadly, the RCMP in Canada won't share family DNA with them. You may have much better luck than me.

You're in my thoughts.

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