Wagoner, Okla. – District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp is offering training for Oklahoma law enforcement agencies to brush up their skills investigating cases involving missing persons and unidentified victims.
“We’ve put together some of the biggest names in unsolved case investigations to provide premier training to help solve the state’s most baffling cases,” said Thorp of the May 8 program, designed to help agencies navigate a law awaiting Governor Kevin Stitt’s signature.
“Once the governor signs Francine’s Law, we want our law enforcement agencies to have all the tools they need to fully exploit NamUs and all the tools at their disposal,” Thorp said.
House Bill 2640, better known as Francine’s Law, unanimously passed both state chambers on Monday. When signed by Governor Stitt, the law will enable law enforcement agencies to share information about missing persons and cases with unidentified remains. The law would give agencies 30 days to enter the cases into NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Oklahoma would join New Jersey, Tennessee, Michigan and Connecticut in passing such a law.
In August, Thorp and a team of legendary figures in cold case investigations presented the law to Attorney General Mike Hunter. Mike Nance, a 38-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department and nationally-renowned advocate for missing and exploited persons, helped draft the legislation along with Angela Berg, a forensic anthropologist who manages the cases of unidentified victims in the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office. Vicky Lyons, a retired special agent with the OSBI and Thorp’s part-time cold case coordinator, also helped make the case to Hunter.
Frost, a 44-year-old nurse, left for a Tulsa grocery store in 1981 and was never seen again. Her family agonized for 30 years until they made an unbelievable discovery on the NamUs website.
Among the topics to be covered in the session, which will qualify for four hours of credit under the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET), include:
- Protocols and Practices for the Investigation of Missing and Unidentified Persons cases – presented by Cpl Joe Campbell, Tulsa Police Department
- Oklahoma Emergency Operations Plan ESF#9 Search & Rescue – presented by Lt. James Loftis, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, DPS
- Introduction to the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System 2.0 – presented by Mike Nance, Regional NamUs Administrator
- FBI Child Abduction Response Team presented by the Muskogee FBI Office
- Strategies for Investigation of Unidentified Persons cases presented by Angela Berg, M.A., Anthropologist, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
The training will be held at the Wagoner Civic Center, 301 S. Grant Avenue.
If your law enforcement is interested in attending, space is limited, so reserve a spot now by filling out this form. You can also call Vicky Lyons at (918) 772-8465.
See the Tulsa World’s coverage of this important event.