SANTA ANA ( — Authorities in Orange County are urging people with missing family members to give DNA samples to try to find them among unidentified human remains.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Coroner Division is hosting an event Saturday to try to identify the missing by speaking with their relatives and collecting fingerprint and dental records and DNA samples.

Such events are becoming more common across the country as investigators rely on ever-improving DNA technology to piece together connections between those reported missing and unidentified remains.

The Orange County Coroner’s office has about 100 unidentified “John Does” and “Jane Does”– some dating back to the 1950s — that it hopes to eventually identify.

At Saturday’s event, authorities are asking two family members of missing persons to show up to provide DNA samples. The samples will be entered into a national database.

Todd Matthews, director of case management and communications for the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System, says there are 10,000 unidentified bodies in a federal database created to help solve these cases.

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