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Midland Police Department discusses handling of unidentified teen's DNA

MPD's Crime Scene Unit sent the boy's DNA to the University of North Texas for further evaluation, and spoke with UNT's lab Friday morning.

MIDLAND, Texas — There have been updates throughout the week regarding the unidentified teen found all alone in Midland, including that his DNA would be tested to try and find out who he is and if he has any family.

It was the Crime Scene Unit with the Midland Police Department that sent the boy's DNA to a lab at the University of North Texas for further evaluation.

Much like the opinions of many in the community, the Crime Scene Unit sees this as a truly unique situation.

“In my career of over 12 years, I have not run into a case like this where we’ve had an unidentified individual, especially a living – potentially a juvenile or a child – that has taken this long to be identified," said Rhiannon Fry, Crime Scene Unit Supervisor for the Midland Police Department.

It was Sunday afternoon when the teen was found alone in an alley around the area of Shandon Avenue and Ward Street in Midland.

The non-verbal boy was isolated in a neighborhood on a path of rocks, gravel and fencing, with no known family and no identity.

However, his DNA results could change that, and the Crime Scene Unit spoke with the lab at UNT on Friday morning to clarify the timeframe of completion.

"Unfortunately with DNA, because we've had other cases where we ask if it's possible to expedite, part of the issue is just the amount of time that it takes to analyze and extract that DNA just to begin with," said Fry. "So, the lab is aware of the circumstances and I think they're going to try to work it as quickly as they can."

Once the results are completed, it will likely be placed into two databases – CODIS, or Combined DNA Index System, at the state level, and NDIS, or National DNA Index System, at the federal level.

From there, the goal for UNT is to find a potential match with a family member.

“And then if that’s the case, then their DNA scientists can go in and actually look at that and determine whether that is a match or not," said Fry. "Also if there are other samples that they wanted to compare it to, that’s their specialty.”

DNA testing is a more advanced option, and with the teen unable to positively identify himself, it was called upon for this situation.

“It’s one of those where we want to make absolutely sure of who, potentially who this individual is," said Fry.

Patience will still be required for the DNA results, as weeks to months remain the overall timeline.

Stay with NewsWest 9 for any future updates as we learn more.

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