Baylor Professor in the Netherlands to Lecture at International Missing Persons Conference

Lori Baker
Lori Baker photo courtesy of Baylor Photography.
Oct. 28, 2013

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Media contact: Tonya B. Lewis,(254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (Oct. 28, 2013) -Lori Baker, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University, will speak at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) Conference Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.

Baker, who was instrumental in developing a missing person's database with Mexico, works on behalf of her program called "Reuniting Families." She, along with her team, exhumes bodies at pauper's cemeteries and conducts DNA tests in an effort to identify the unknown. This summer they conducted such work in Falfurrias, Texas.

Baker's lecture will focus on the humanitarian side of undocumented immigrants crossing the border and describe her and her team's efforts to assist in that crisis.

"The conference brings together leaders from around the world to discuss current issues of the millions of missing persons cases," Baker said. "There will be discussions to address these problems and to come up with recommendations for the future to address the issues of missing persons in all of the different facets."

"I am extremely honored to be invited to present the U.S. border crisis to the international community," Baker said.

In February, Baker spoke with Thomas Parsons, the ICMP director of forensic science programs, about her work with undocumented immigrants in south Texas.

"I discussed our disaster on the border and told him of our current efforts," she said. "He believed that it is important that we make the international community aware of what is happening and he recommended me as a speaker for the conference."

Since November 2001, ICMP has led the way in using DNA as a first step in the identification of large numbers of persons missing from armed conflict. By matching DNA from blood and bone samples, ICMP has been able to identify more than 17,000 people who were missing from the conflicts and whose remains were found in hidden graves.

Other conference speakers include Ivo Josipović, the president of the Republic of Croatia, Ronald K. Noble, secretary-general of INTERPOL, and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.

For more information, visit the ICMP's website.

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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