- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota authorities on Tuesday urged family members of missing persons to provide DNA samples in an effort to try to match their DNA to remains that have not been identified.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension exhumed the remains of three men and two women last summer. Their identities were not known when they were buried.

KARE-TV reported (http://kare11.tv/2v9O42y ) that BCA officials said a DNA sample from a close family member could be the first step in getting some answers.

The BCA will hold events statewide where close family members of missing persons can provide DNA samples. The first of these collection events is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at BCA headquarters in St. Paul. Subsequent events will be held in Duluth, Bemidji and Mankato.

Family members are asked to bring information about their missing relative, including dental records and items that may contain the missing person’s DNA, such as a hairbrush.

The exhumed remains include that of a woman, ages 20 to 25, who was found dead in 1976 in the Mississippi River near Lilydale; the body of a female, ages 16 to 30, who was found dead in 1977 in the Mississippi River; a man between the ages of 20 and 40, who was found dead in 1985 at an abandoned building in St. Paul; a man between the ages of 20 and 50 who was found in 1985 in the Mississippi River near the Ford Dam; and a man between the ages of 35 and 45, found in 1991 in a wooded area in St. Paul.

The BCA began a larger effort to identify remains in 2013. Since then, five people have been identified through DNA testing.

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Information from: KARE-TV, http://www.kare11.com

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