MEs office helps families of the missing

TAHLEQUAH, Okla - The State Medical Examiner's Office hopes to bring closure to families of the missing through an event at the Tahlequah on Saturday.

It's part of Oklahoma's International Missing and Unidentified Person's Day.

Organizers decided to hold it in Tahlequah, so people with missing loved ones in both Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma take participate.

Inside the ME's office are the remains of dozens of unclaimed, nameless people.

"If we don't have any leads to follow up on to get dental records, even buckle swaps from family members, there's nothing we can do," said Liz Coldwell. "They just have to wait."

Coldwell is the Investigative Supervisor for the Tulsa ME's office. She says many of the victims in her office can be identified with the help of family members.

On Saturday, they will take DNA samples and other medical information that will be entered into NamUs or "The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System". So even if their remains are found in another state, they have a better chance of being identified.

"We are hoping to gather medical information - dental information to do comparisons with dental records," said Coldwell. Coldwell "And if anybody has had any surgeries - if they pins or rods, sometimes we can do a comparison with medical records."

Carl Adams' son Stephen disappeared in December of 2004, after taking his finals at NSU in Tahlequah.

"I'm hopeful everyday that I am going to get a phone call and they will say, somebody has come forward," he said. "We know the whole story. We know where he's at and we are going to go get him."

Carl believes his son is dead, but he's never given up the search for answers and justice and he encourages other families in his situation to do the same.        

"To me, he's just lost," he said. "I'm going to do my best until the day I die to try and find him and get him back."

Saturday's event will run from 9:30 to 1:00 p.m. at the Tahlequah Public Library.

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