New Missing Persons Bureau website hosts images of unidentified dead bodies to help families trace loved ones
Pictures of unidentified dead bodies found around the UK are to be posted online for the first time.
The Missing Persons Bureau is posting the images on its new website in a bid to help friends and family members search for their missing loved ones.
The bureau holds details of around 1,000 unidentified people, some dating back to the 1950s.
Images deemed to be distressing will be marked with a clear warning and require specific confirmation before viewing, as all members of the public will be able to search the photographs and case files.
As well as the photographs, information under each entry may include an estimate of the age of the person discovered and details of what they were wearing.
Many of the unidentified bodies were found after spending long periods of time in water, leaving their faces unrecognisable.
Others were among the 250 people who die on the UK’s railways every year – many of whom are never identified – and also cannot be recognised from facial photographs.
Many cases therefore hinge on identifying marks such as scars or tattoos.
One body, that of a man found collapsed in an Islington street in 2007, shows two clearly identifiable tattoos – a panther and a Native American chief.
Joe Apps of the Missing Persons Bureau said: “The aim of the new site is to bring closure to the families and friends of the people featured.”
He added: “With new unidentified person cases we rely on modern forensic techniques for identification but on older cases we look to use every tool available and believe that case publicity is the best chance of getting images recognised.”
He went on to say: “This will be the first time families of missing people have been able to search through records for themselves and it will empower families to play an active part in the search for their loved ones.”
Legally, local councils must cremate or bury unidentified bodies quickly to avoid the risk of disease.
Cremation destroys all DNA, while exhumation requires a lengthy permission process, meaning photographs are often the most efficient way to identify bodies.
The website will also be used to trace living people, such as those suffering from dementia or memory loss, but the Missing Persons Bureau says living people make up only six per cent of its unsolved cases.
83 per cent involve dead bodies, while the remaining 11 per cent are unidentified body parts still sitting in police morgues.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...