B.C. mom’s 18-year battle results in missing-persons DNA data bank

VICTORIA — After 18 years of persistent lobbying by a Vancouver Island mother, the federal government has revamped rules for the National DNA Data Bank, allowing it to include DNA from missing people.

Changes to the DNA Identification Act are being dubbed Lindsey’s Law in recognition of Lindsey Jill Nicholls, a Comox Valley youth who disappeared in August 1993 while on her way to meet friends.

The changes were announced Monday by Ralph Goodale, federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.

Goodale said most missing people are found within days, but some are not.

Of the 78,000 Canadians reported missing in 2017, about 88 per cent were found within a week, according to Public Safety Canada.

Judy Peterson, Lindsey’s mother, recalled that her daughter was 14 when last seen walking along Royston Road in the Comox Valley, wearing blue jeans, a khaki tank top and white canvas shoes. “We believe she was hitchhiking, which she was known to do.”

Peterson, who now lives in Sidney, said her daughter’s police file says “foul play suspected.”

Lindsey Jill Nicholls was last seen walking down a rural road in the Comox Valley on Aug. 2, 1993.

She said she is still haunted by unanswered questions.

Getting DNA rules modified became very important to her, she said. “I’ve been working on this legislation for 18 years.”

Peterson said that previously the DNA Data Bank focused on crime-scene DNA and convicted-offenders’ DNA, which get compared against each other.

“The law in Canada didn’t allow them to use the index for missing persons or found human remains, but now it does,” Peterson said. She said she is gratified to have helped make the changes happen. While it took a while to come about, “it’s done and it’s done really well.”

Government planning for the National Missing Persons DNA Program began in 2014. Peterson was invited to …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

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