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Cook Medical Examiner to post information on unidentified bodies
Revamped website intended to become resource for families

Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Chicago Tribune
by Liam Ford

 The Cook County medical examiner's office for the first time will post information about unidentified bodies, including photographs in some cases.

The medical examiner's office began working with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System's website in recent months, putting up information about a few bodies to help identify them, office spokeswoman Mary Paleologos said. One body was identified: a Michigan woman who had been found dead on Chicago's North Side.

The Cook County site is "the same idea," Paleologos said.

Medical Examiner Stephen Cina said he formed a committee to revamp the office's website to better explain what the medical examiner does and help the office become a resource for families to locate their relatives. Most of the website is already up and running, and county officials expect pages on unidentified bodies — as well as identified bodies whose families have not been located — to be available by Wednesday.

In addition to the national website, Cina said, his office took a look at what other states are doing, including Florida.

"We wanted to try to take the best of the best," he said.

The new site will have information on unidentified bodies, including physical descriptions and details about their clothing. In some cases, photographs also will be posted, but they will be stored in a way to deter people from downloading them, Cina said. 

The site will have a separate section on identified people whose bodies have not yet been claimed, listing information such as names, dates and places of death, Cina said.

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