SANTA FE -- New Mexico joined seven other states which passed legislation mandating the sharing of missing and unidentified persons information with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).
"The scope of the Mark Daniel Aguilar Information Sharing Requirement law is simple," said Mark R. Shea, Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.
"Within 30 days of receipt of a missing person's report, the Department of Public Safety will share with NamUs all information in the missing persons information clearinghouse and all information the department receives pursuant to the Missing Persons Information and Reporting Act regarding the identification and location of missing and unidentified persons or human remains."
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) is a national clearinghouse and resources center for missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases through the united states, said Shea. This important resource helps law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, forensic professionals and families resolve missing and unidentified persons cases.
The states of New York, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arkansas and West Virginia have passed similar legislation, said Shea.
"I am dedicated to helping shine a light on the national missing and unidentified persons crisis," said Lynn Trujillo, Secretary of the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department. "For too long our communities have had limited access to information regarding missing person cases.
"The Mark Daniel Aguilar law will make it easier to share data between state and federal agencies relating to missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases," said Secretary Trujillo. "I'd like to thank the family of Mark Daniel Aguilar for their leadership and fortitude on this issue and the sponsor of the legislation Representative Joseph Sanchez."
The Mark Daniel Aguilar Information Sharing Requirement was signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 22, 2019. It is named after 54-year-old Mark Daniel Aguilar, a Native American male with black hair and brown eyes who was last seen by his family in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 4, 2016. Homeless at the time of his disappearance, he frequented the Pete's Place shelter and the Rufina Street area in Santa Fe. He was sighted on surveillance video at the New Mexico Workforce Construction Office in Santa Fe between 2:30 and 2:45 p.m. on October 18, 2016. He has never been heard from again. Aguilar's family reported him missing on December 2, 2016. His case remains unsolved.
Currently, there are 153 New Mexican's listed in the NamUs missing persons database, with an equal split between males and females reported missing: 74 females and 78 males, said Regina Chacon, the New Mexico Department of Public Safety's Law Enforcement Records Bureau Chief, who manages New Mexico's Missing Person repository.
Bernalillo County has most of the missing cases, totaling 57, and Dona Ana, San Juan and McKinley counties show 15, 14, and 13 cases, respectively, said Chacon.
New Mexico cases listed on the federal website include, Harvey Eugene "Gene" Whitacre, a 20-year-old, white male, with brown hair and brown eyes, who wore strong prescription glasses, who went into a bowling alley in Albuquerque, NM on June 30, 1947. He was wearing army-issued pants, shirt, tie, cap and dress shoes. He was the treasurer of his bowling league and was carrying about $400 in cash on him, that day. He never returned to the Sandia Base for roll call on July 1, 1947. He would currently be 92 years old.
Skyla Marburger, a blue-eyed, strawberry blond, white female was last seen in Santa Fe, NM on September 1, 1995, is the youngest person reported missing. She was less than a year old at the time of her disappearance and would currently be 24 years old.
Cecelia Finona, a 59-year-old, American Indian / Alaska Native female went missing on Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Farmington, New Mexico. She is the most recent New Mexico case listed in NamUs.
For a complete listing of missing persons in the United States and New Mexico, visit https://www.namus.gov.