(50 ILCS 722/20)
Unidentified persons or human remains identification responsibilities.
(a) In this Section, "assisting law enforcement agency" means a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction acting under the request and direction of the medical examiner or coroner to assist with human remains identification.
(a-5) If the official with custody of the human remains is not a coroner or medical
examiner, the official shall immediately notify the coroner or medical examiner of the county in which the remains were found.
The coroner or medical examiner shall go to the scene and take charge of the remains.
(b) Notwithstanding any other action deemed appropriate for the handling of
the human remains, the assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall make reasonable attempts
to promptly identify human remains. This does not include historic or prehistoric skeletal remains. These actions shall include, but
are not limited to, obtaining the following when possible:
(1) photographs of the human remains (prior to an
(c) No medical examiner or coroner or any other person shall dispose of, or engage in
actions that will materially affect the unidentified human remains before
the assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner obtains items essential for human identification efforts listed in subsection (b) of this Section.
(d) Cremation of unidentified human remains is prohibited.
(f) The assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall seek support from appropriate State
and federal agencies, including National Missing and Unidentified Persons System resources to facilitate prompt identification of human remains. This
support may include, but is not limited to, fingerprint comparison; forensic odontology; nuclear or mitochondrial DNA analysis, or both; and forensic anthropology.
(f-5) Fingerprints from the unidentified remains, including partial prints, shall be submitted to the Illinois State Police or other resource for the purpose of attempting to identify the deceased. The coroner or medical examiner shall cause a dental examination to be performed by a forensic odontologist for the purpose of dental charting, comparison to missing person records, or both. Tissue samples collected for DNA analysis shall be submitted within 30 days of the recovery of the remains to a National Missing and Unidentified Persons System partner laboratory or other resource where DNA profiles are entered into the National DNA Index System upon completion of testing. Forensic anthropological analysis of the remains shall also be considered.
(g-2) The medical examiner or coroner shall report the unidentified human remains and the location where the remains were found to the Illinois State Police within 24 hours of discovery as mandated by Section 15 of this Act. The assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall contact the Illinois State Police to request the creation of a National Crime Information Center Unidentified Person record within 5 days of the discovery of the remains. The assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall provide the Illinois State Police all information required for National Crime Information Center entry. Upon notification, the Illinois State Police shall create the Unidentified Person record without unnecessary delay.
(g-5) The assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall obtain a National Crime Information Center number from the Illinois State Police to verify entry and maintain this number within the unidentified human remains case file. A National Crime Information Center Unidentified Person record shall remain on file indefinitely or until action is taken by the originating agency to clear or cancel the record. The assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall notify the Illinois State Police of necessary record modifications or cancellation if identification is made.
(h-5) The assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, or coroner shall create an unidentified person record in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System prior to the submission of samples or within 30 days of the discovery of the remains, if no identification has been made. The entry shall include all available case information including fingerprint data and dental charts. Samples shall be submitted to a National Missing and Unidentified Persons System partner laboratory for DNA analysis within 30 Days. A notation of DNA submission shall be made within the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System Unidentified Person record.
(i) Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted to preclude any assisting law enforcement agency, medical examiner, coroner, or the Illinois State Police from pursuing other efforts to identify
human remains including efforts to publicize information, descriptions, or
photographs related to the investigation.
(j) For historic or prehistoric human skeletal remains determined by an anthropologist to be older than 100 years, jurisdiction shall be transferred to the Department of Natural Resources for further investigation under the Archaeological and Paleontological Resources Protection Act.
(Source: P.A. 101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 102-538, eff. 8-20-21.)