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'Next-of-Kin Online Search' looks to bring closure, answers to families

The new "Next-of-Kin Online Search" aims to bring closure and answers to families.
Credit: KUSA

DENVER — The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner (OME) is releasing a new tool to help find the families of Denverites whose remains have yet to be claimed.

A new webpage looks to find the families of the more than 130 remains that have not been claimed, according to OME. The remains have been positively identified by OME, but have not been able to find the closest living relative or next-of-kin.

“We’re finding that many of these identified deceased were either elderly or experiencing homelessness," Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. James Caruso said. "So potentially these individuals have outlived their relatives or have been estranged from their families. But the hope in establishing this webpage is to identify family members, giving them a chance to reconcile their feelings, to grieve, and close a chapter in their family’s history.”

Investigators with OME look for emergency contacts in medical records, address books and cell phone contacts to try and find family members. OME investigators will even use social media sites to find names of possible relatives, according to OME.

For cases where the deceased is not from the United States, investigators will work with the country's consulate or embassy in an attempt to contact the family, OME said.

Currently, there are 136 individuals who have not had next-of-kin notification since 2019, according to OME. If anyone finds someone on the webpage they know, they are asked to contact OME at 720-337-7601.



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