FBI, Police Digging For Missing People At Canton Cemetery

May 22, 2019 - 6:06 pm

CANTON TWP. (WWJ) - Law enforcement is doing some digging in search of DNA at a Canton Township cemetery. 

Detroit police, FBI agents and Michigan State Police were on the scene for several hours Wednesday, at Knollwood Memorial Park on Ridge Road. 

According to MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw, evidence techs are exhuming bodies in order to take DNA samples as they investigate some missing persons cases. 

The dig, he explained, comes after a recent State Police missing persons event in Livonia.

"We have family members with missing loved ones come in an offer DNA samples, and those DNA samples are kept on file in a national database," Shaw told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "And what happens is when we find unidentified remains, we're able to collect the DNA from those remains and do a comparison." 

Anyone who has a missing loved one who hasn't  provided a DNA sample to law enforcement is urged to contact the jurisdiction were the person went missing to provide a sample. "While it's not the answer that most people want -- you always hope that your missing loved one is gonna return home safe -- at least it comes them some type of closure," Shaw said. "And that's what they're doing today."

Shaw said Knollwood cemetery is where unidentified, unclaimed remains from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office are often buried. 

While he noted that some people who attend these missing persons events have loved ones missing from as far back as the 1960s, he cannot comment at this time on specific names or dates in connection with this dig.