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Partnership: California Department of Justice, Missing and Unidenified Persons Section, & National Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems


May 28, 2020 at 1:00pm (PST)

Session Overview

Overview of the California Department of Justice’s Missing & Unidentified Persons Section’s resources, best practices, and CA Penal Code and Government Codes as applicable.  Overview of the National Missing & Unidentified Persons System’s services and support.  Case studies will demonstrate the effectiveness of the collaborative effort between the two groups.

By the end of this webinar, participants will develop strategies to take back to their home agencies and will be able to:

  •  become familiar with the California and Federal laws as they pertain to both missing and unidentified persons investigations
  •  gain an understanding of what services are available through CA DOJ and NamUs
  •  use of cases studies, participants will gain an understanding of what not to do through lessons learned
  •  use cases studies to gain an understanding of how following best practices will aid in a successful investigation



Allison O'Neal, Regional Program Specialist, Region 9: California. In 1999, Allison O'Neal joined the Orange County Sheriff's Department, where she spent the next 18 years as a Deputy Coroner, Senior Deputy Coroner, Field Training Officer, and finally, a Supervising Deputy Coroner. In November 2000, she won the Trauma Intervention Program of Orange County’s “Hero with a Heart” Award. Allison led the unidentified deceased team and oversaw the unidentified deceased cases dating back to the 1950s. In 2015, she was the co-coordinator of Orange County’s first “Identify the Missing Day”. Allison attended Chapman University for both her undergraduate and graduate studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics and minor in Criminal Justice, and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. In March 2018, Allison joined the NamUs team as a Regional Program Specialist for the state of California.


Megan Eschleman earned her M.S. in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven in 1999.  She started with the California Department of Justice as a crime analyst in 2002, working as the lead analyst in the Sex Offender Assessment Unit until 2009 when she became the lead analyst in the Missing and Unidentified Persons Section (MUPS).  In 2013, Megan received the Attorney General’s Award for Sustained Superior Accomplishment.  Megan took over the Supervisor roll in MUPS in 2014 and in 2017, she became the Manager over both MUPS and the Violent Crime Investigative Services Section.  She now also oversees the Investigative Services and Systems Support Program.  In 2019, she and the entire MUPS received the Attorney General’s Team Award for their work assisting in the identification of many of the Camp Fire victims.  

Megan has instructed at multiple P.O.S.T. certified courses on Missing Persons Investigations, Unidentified Persons Investigations, Missing College Students, and Child Abductions.  She is also a certified National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) instructor.  Megan served as a Subject Matter Expert in the development of the 2011 California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Missing Person Investigations Guidelines.  Megan has been a member of the California Child Abduction Task Force since 2015.





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