Lindsey Nicholls disappeared from Comox Valley, British Columbia over eleven years ago. Her mother, Judy Peterson is advocating for the creation of a national missing persons DNA data bank. You may be surprised to learn that such a tool currently exists in the U.S. (CODIS), but not in Canada.
Judy's proposed legislation (Bill C-441, called Lindsey's Law) would allow for 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. This legislation will provide answers for grieving families, justice for the victims and put violent criminals behind bars.
What Judy is asking Canadians to do is really quite simple. Please take the time to write a letter to Canada's Minister of Public Safety And Emergency Preparedness, Anne McLellan (McLellan.A@parl.gc.ca) and tell her you support the creation of a national missing person and unidentified human remains DNA databank. Judy even has a sample letter all ready for you to fill out on her website.
For those of you who are technologically challenged, her is my letter (feel free to cut and paste):
Minister of Public Safety
And Emergency Preparedness
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Dear Minister McLellan,
I received a letter last week from Justice Minister Cotler informing me that you would be helping me in the future on my request for the procedures governing evidence retention in Canada. I thank you for your assistance in that matter and I look forward to your response.
My letter today is regarding another matter. As I’m sure you are aware, in 1978 my sister, Theresa Allore went missing for a period of five months. In the spring of 1979 she was found murdered in a ditch in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
I am writing to let you know that I fully support the creation of a national missing person and unidentified human remains DNA databank. Specifically, I would also ask that these two indices to be linked to the Crime Scene Index in order to identify victims and serial offenders.
This legislation is fully supported by victim’s groups, missing children organizations, RCMP and the Federal Provincial Territorial Ministers. The need is urgent and families of missing persons – such as the Petersons in British Columbia and the Surprenants in Quebec - have waited far too long. I know all too well the deep need to have family members returned home, and the importance of having justice administered, no matter how long the pursuit for justice may last.
As Minister of Public Safety, you have a responsibility to make this happen. Every day is painful for the families of the missing. They deserve the comfort of knowing that if their loved one is ever found, they will know.
I look forward to learning your plan to get this in place for the benefit of all Canadians.
Chapel Hill, NC