How does National Center for Missing and Exploited Children create age progression photos?

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WASHINGTON D.C. (News4Utah)- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is on the frontline of the fight to protect our most vulnerable and provide closure to families.

Lakisha Jones vanished almost 20 years ago. Colin McNally works as supervisor for the Forensic Imaging Unit at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It’s his job to try and show the world what Jones would look like today.

 “When you work on these cases, you really do become attached to them,” McNally said.

The Jones case is one of nearly 7,000 age progressions crafted by the unit but with technology their abilities to new heights.

“For us, our greatest tool is heredity — seeing what commonalities among family members — share with the missing child,” said McNally.

On the other side of the unit, a robotic arm is used to recreate facial features from the remains of an unidentified child.

 “The hope is to be able to provide answers to families–many of whom have been searching for their children for many years,” he said.

The center first opened its doors in 1984 and since then it’s become a valuable tool to law enforcement across the country.

This week a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to reauthorize $40 million a year in funding for the center — saying its on the frontlines of protecting vulnerable children.

Robert Lowery oversees the center’s Missing Children Division. He’s using the money to expand rapid response teams that deploy when a child goes missing.

 “We have search experts that are to their availability or any unique thing that might come up,” Lowery said.

Lowery says he believes they’re making progress.   Child abductions are less frequent, and the number of missing children cases has been cut in half over the last 35 years.  But there is much work to be done to bring closure to more families and communities.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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