Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth is in Comox today to participate in an event to press for “Lindsay’s Law” in honour of Lindsay Nicholls and to help the families of missing persons across Canada.
Lindsey Nicholls was just 14 years old when she vanished from Comox Valley, BC. This August long weekend marks the 20th anniversary of her disappearance. Lindsey’s mother, Judy Peterson of Sidney, BC, has become a tireless advocate for a national Missing Person and Found Remains databank.
“Judy’s proposal is urgent. A Missing Persons Index and a Found Human Remains Index within the National DNA Data Bank would provide much needed answers to families who have a missing child and would result in justice for the victims,” said Saanich-Gulf Islands Member of Parliament Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada.
The proposal would allow the collection of DNA from missing persons or their close relatives for the purpose of cross-referencing DNA from crime scenes and unidentified human remains.
There are over 15,000 unidentified DNA samples obtained from crime scenes that may provide clues as to the fate of the 7,000 number of missing persons in Canada. Currently, family members are unable to provide DNA samples for the national databank, despite the fact that these samples could lead to identification of unknown remains.
“The gap in legislation means that a missing person’s DNA may have been collected from a crime scene or their remains could be sitting in a coroner’s office, but there would be no way for the family to find out because evidence in the databank is not allowed to be cross-referenced with the DNA of missing persons or family members. This is something that we can change through legislation,” said May.
“We should absolutely be making every possible use of the tool of DNA identification to determine the fate of missing persons,” said May.