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‘Missing in Arizona’ day brings Phoenix police new leads in missing persons cases

Kimber Biggs, whose sister Mikelle is still missing after disappearing in 1999 at age 11 while waiting for an ice-cream truck, speaks at a press conference about the grief, confusion and unwillingness to give up on finding a missing loved one. She plans to participate in Missing in Arizona on Oct. 24 on ASU's West campus. (Photo by: Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — An event held on ASU’s West campus last Saturday led to the foundation of 22 new missing persons cases, one of which dated back to the mid-1960s.

Missing in Arizona Day was the result of a partnership between the university and the local police department in order to identify — and hopefully solve — missing persons cases.

Phoenix Police Detective William Andersen said some people brought evidence to aid current investigations.

“We had over 40 people provide us with samples…to help us improve the likelihood of making an unidentified person match,” he said.

Andersen said DNA evidence is very helpful for missing person investigations, especially in cases where the person has been missing for years. He added that not all missing person cases are criminal in nature.

“Some people die of natural deaths in different jurisdictions,” he said. “Some people are suicides and they remain unidentified.”