DNA collection to solve NSW cold cases

·1-min read

DNA samples will be collected from family members in a NSW pilot program designed to resolve the fate of long-term missing persons.

The initiative was launched on Monday on the NSW mid north coast towns of Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie because of the area's high number of missing persons.

Police say they are hoping to identify some of the 330 unidentified human remains in the state, with almost 200 of them being found on the north coast.

Police are asking relatives of missing people to provide their DNA at pop-up collection centres at Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie this week.

The familial DNA samples will be uploaded into the Volunteer Limited Purpose Index and searched against the Unidentified Bodies Index.

Police will also interview family members to capture further information that could help investigators.

Familial DNA samples are provided via buccal swab inside a person's cheek, and are only compared against missing persons databases in Australia.

Missing Persons Registry Co-ordinator Detective Inspector Glen Browne said the program would provide hope for families.

"It's incredibly important to the families when they do get a result from this type of technology. It does bring some closure. We are definitely hoping to get results from this program," he told ABC TV.

The pop-up centre moves from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie on Thursday.