45 Finns Children Remain Unidentified in Thailand

There is a delay in the identification process of Finns children after the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia in December last year.
     DNA analysis becomes progressively more difficult as time goes by. There are fears that some samples could even be worthless due to time of collecting samples and time of samples being analyzed.
     Data from the bodies of unidentified children and infants are compared with samples of their parents sent from Finland. After the identification had been made in Thailand, bodies of the parents were sent back to Finland and DNA were taken once again in Helsinki.
     DNA from the parent is very important since most children did not have dental records or their own DNA samples, unlike adult Finn victims who had been identified using dental records.
     “At the moment, the pain of identification process is that we are trying to match individuals using fingerprinting,” says Ismo Kopra, heads the Finnish victim identification unit in Thailand.
     “DNA analysis is a final link in the process. When it is working properly, it should be possible to put names to all the victims whose remains have been located.”
     Kopra arrived Phuket on December 30th, and is the longest-serving member of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation team in Thailand.

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