On the occasion of August 30, International Missing Persons Day, spokeswoman of the Institute for Missing Persons of BiH Lejla Čengić said that in BiH it is still being searched for more than 7.000 missing persons.
Out of 34.964 missing persons registered in the Central Register of Missing Persons, Čengić stated that remains of more than 25.000 missing persons were exhumed. Identity of 14.792 persons was determined on the basis of DNA analysis and 8,192 persons were identified on the basis of the classic method – the recognition method.
“More than 3.000 exhumed remains in BiH are not identified and are stored in 11 centers for autopsy and identification throughout BiH,” Čengić said.
Čengić said that the process of searching for missing persons is currently in the stage when it is difficult to obtain reliable information about potential locations of mass graves.
According to Čengić, the main reason why remains are unidentified is the lack of blood samples for comparison with the bone samples taken from victims. In some cases, complete families were killed and no one can give blood, in some cases victims had no close relatives, and there are also cases where families did not provide blood samples.
Only several cases of wrong identification were recorded so far. Classic method of recognition was used until 2001 when it was abandoned because of the high degree of unreliability. Classic recognition method is more successful soon after death. As years go by, possibilities for misidentification increase.
Verification of the missing persons in the Central Register is currently in progress. So far, 20.677 missing persons were verified. Verification of missing persons is a necessary procedure that will give a unique image of all missing persons on state level. Every missing person will have a file in electronic and printed form.