As the mother of a missing Milwaukee woman, Becky Marie Marzo, I am hoping to be able to seek help from my own government on a very sensitive issue.
What and how do we report our missing family member and what do the police do next? There is no guidebook written that says, What we need to do? We parents of missing young women know the saying that the men who kill our daughters live by, NO BODY, NO CRIME. I believe it is time for my Government body to help change that. This is a start. I believe we need to start with the obvious and then go into changing policies and procedures of filing a missing persons report. I believe there are many issues we as a society need to address. It is impossible to address them all at once so I will start with the most important. DNA protocols.
I have talked to law enforcement and asked, What do you do when you find human remains? To my utter shock and disbelief the answer has been, We don't know what to do with them, so they are put in a box and put on a shelf. This is the result of having no nation-wide protocol for dealing with unidentified human remains. There is currently no mandate for law enforcement, coroners and medical examiners to test these remains. This leads to my concern. I visualize my daughters remains in one of those dusty boxes marked unknown simply because there is no protocol.
If you get on the website of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, you will see pages of unidentified remains. Monies are being spent on the Innocent Project which will collect DNA from all convicted felons. It could help solve crimes and prove innocence or guilt. This is great, but, because the dead don't vote or pay taxes, there is no priority in identifying these remains. The unidentified dead have remained unidentified for a number of reasons, mainly it is the result of low priorities, lack of education in development of protocols used in the discovery of human remains and as every where funding. Investigation would probably determine that most of these remains are the victims of homicide. Experts estimate there are between 40,000 and 50,000 unidentified human remains in our country. Given today's technology it is totally unacceptable for a civilized nation not to have a protocol and treat the remains of its citizens in a more appropriate way.
The unidentified dead do not receive any consideration, until the need to identify the remains of those who lost their lives, an example of this is in the attack on David Koresh's Branch Davidian Complex in Waco, Texas. David Koresh was identified through DNA. Then, in the attacks on the Murrah Federal Bldg. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the Twin Towers in New York on September 11th, and most recently Hurricane Katrina. DNA was used to identify many of those remains. DNA was used to identify the 90 year old remains of an unknown male child who died in the sinking of the Titanic. The mother of a soldier received information that it could possibly be her son's remains in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We all know how sacred this grave site has become because we have watched our Presidents lay a wreath there for many years, but the mother needed to know if it was her son. Through DNA testing it was determined that it was indeed her son.
DNA may be the only way that I will be able to find my daughter. But unless there is mandatory testing of the unidentified dead on a national level and a national repository for those test results that is accessible to every state and all stakeholders, the unidentified dead will remain unidentified. The stakeholders include coroners, medical examiners, forensic pathologists, forensic anthropologists, forensic odontologists and law enforcement. We also need to educate the families of missing persons that they can go to a local FBI office or their law enforcement agency to have a DNA mouth swab taken and the results entered into this national database as a family reference sample. Most of those who have missing loved ones don't know what they can do or where to go for assistance.
We need to have mandated testing of any unidentified dead, a national repository for these test results for all states to be able to access. And we need to educate the law enforcement, all stakeholders and the public. We need to make the public aware of this national problem.
This is why I am asking for your help. I can put you in touch with people who can speak to you on a professional level. I am just a mother and know little about the politics but I have learned a lot in the last two and a half years only because of the tragic disappearance and presumably death of my daughter Becky. I have gone through 2.5 years of hell and have learned more about the judicial system than I ever wanted to know.
So, now I am learning the politics of what needs to be done and how to get it done. And you can't get it done without the help of others. A phrase I am trying to live by is "None of us is as good as all of us" - Ray A. Kroc.
I have sent this same letter to Chief Haggerty, Sheriff David Clark, all Wisconsin State Representatives, Wisconsin Congressmen, Mayor Barrett, and then Gov. Jim Doyle. I am hoping that someone will pick this up and help Mothers in Wisconsin find their lost children.
I am sending an example of Nebraska's Protocol in hopes to find someone in Wisconsin that will help me pass this same process here.