Feb. 23, 2021

Missing and Unidentified

Missing and Unidentified

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, otherwise known as NamUs, over 600,000 people go missing each year. Fortunately, many missing children and adults are found alive and well. However, tens of thousands remain missing. Adding to the number of missing persons, are 4,000 unidentified bodies recovered each year. Sadly, year after year, approximately 1,000 of these bodies remain unidentified.  This is a cumulative crisis and one that affects the lives of far too many families. 

My name is Dana Poll. I am a writer and a research/technology librarian with a passion for investigating the Missing and Unidentified. Growing up in the 70’s, I saw my share of missing faces on milk cartons, I was repeatedly reminded of stranger danger and read news stories about disappearances that hit very close to home.  

In the fall of 1996, I became a Mom.  In November of that year, a young man from a neighboring town was kidnapped and a few months later, his body was found several hundred miles away. As I was celebrating my son’s first Christmas, the world learned about the mysterious death of a little girl named JonBenet Ramsey.  Having a child of my own, my heart ached for these families. 

And then in 2009, I began watching the TV series, The Forgotten. Christian Slater, starred as Alex Donovan a retired detective who led a team of volunteers known as The Forgotten Network, a dedicated group of amateur sleuths who took on cold and unidentified victim cases. At the end of each episode, information about the Doe Network was shared. Around the same time, I learned about NamUs, a new database designed by the Department of Justice. I created a NamUs account and began to research the cases I found on the Doe Network website. I joined Websleuths and met others who dedicated their spare time to the research and discussion of missing and unidentified persons. 

True Crime P.I. is a labor of love born out of 12 years of researching the missing and unidentified. This podcast focuses on cold cases that should have been solved, but were not. The cases that have weighed heavy on the hearts of so many for decades.  The cases that feel as if they have been forgotten. Join me and together we can help find the missing, give the unidentified back their names and bring closure to the families who have been forced to carry the unbearable burden of “not knowing."