May 29, 2011

Number of persons unaccounted-for following Joplin tornado has been reduced to 43, Missouri state public safety officials report

State officials release updated list of unaccounted-for individuals, and release names of 87 persons who died following May 22 EF-5 tornado

The Missouri Department of Public Safety this afternoon reported that the number of persons unaccounted-for as a result of the EF-5 tornado that devastated Joplin on May 22 now stands at 43, including four persons whose families have reported them as deceased.   On May 26, the department released a list of 232 individuals for whom an official missing persons report had been filed. More than 60 law-enforcement and emergency-management personnel, including Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers, State Emergency Management Agency staff, federal partners, and local detectives are working under the department's direction on this top priority.   As of 12:30 p.m., the Missouri Department of Public Safety provided the following updated totals:   ·         43 persons are unaccounted for; this number includes four persons who have been reported deceased by family, but for whom official confirmation is still underway ·         137 persons have been reported located ·         31 additional missing persons reports have been filed ·         3 persons have been confirmed as duplicates   Persons categorized as "reported located" are individuals who the Missouri State Highway Patrol has received credible information indicating that they are alive. Following the release and posting of the initial list on May 26, the Highway Patrol received many phone calls and e-mails that included credible information about the location of individuals. The Patrol is also monitoring postings on facebook and other social media sites. The Patrol and local police continue to pursue information to confirm the status of these individuals.   "Since Gov. Jay Nixon directed the Department of Public Safety to take charge of the process of locating unaccounted-for individuals, our 24-hour a day effort of working with local and federal partners, and the public, has resulted in reducing the number of unaccounted for individuals from 232 on May 26 to 43 currently," said Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Andrea Spillars. "That is steady progress, but our objective continues to be reducing that number to zero, to help ease the anxiety of concerned loved ones. DPS and its agencies – the Highway Patrol and the State Emergency Management Agency – will continue to devote all available resources to this effort."   Spillars said that those involved in the effort to account for all individuals are encouraged by the fact that 137 persons who were once unaccounted-for have now been reported to be located. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, local law enforcement and others continue to work to confirm each of these reports.   On Saturday, May 28, the department began reporting a new category – persons reported as deceased by their families, but for whom official confirmation by the local coroner and the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) is still underway. That number has now been reduced to four, as the identification process moves forward.   Spillars said the department is taking many steps to expedite the process of locating all of those who are unaccounted-for, including dispatching state troopers to notify families in a respectful and dignified manner, immediately after the identity has been confirmed by DMORT and the county coroner.   The names of unaccounted-for individuals are being cross-referenced with all hospitals that admitted or treated patients injured during the tornado, shelters housing tornado survivors, applicants for disaster assistance and the Red Cross Safe and Well program. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety is working with cell phone service providers to check whether cell phones have been used by individuals who have been unaccounted-for since their names were added to the list.   The unaccounted-for list is available on the Missouri Department of Public Safety Web site, and will be updated daily.   As of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 29, the next-of-kin of 87 deceased individuals have been notified. The names of these deceased individuals are:
Miguel Alvarez, 28, Joplin Sarah L. Anderson, 47, Joplin Grace Aquino, 46, of Joplin Robert W. Baker, 54, Joplin Robert E. Bateson, 45, Joplin Dorothy T. Bell, 88, Joplin Regina M. Bloxham, 55, Joplin Lathe E. Bradfield, 84, Joplin Leo E. Brown, 86, Joplin Hugh O. Buttram, 85, Joplin Tami L. Campbell, 28, Joplin Arriyinnah S. Carmona, 8, Joplin Moises Carmona-Navarro, 42, Joplin Shante M. Caton, 10, Joplin Trenton Caton, 6, Pierce City Raymond Chew, 66, Joplin Carolane J. Collins, 62 Eagle Rock Clyde Coleman, 72, Galena, Kansas Lois A. Comfort, 66, Webb City Keenan K. Conger, 49, Joplin Vicki L. Cooper, 59, Joplin Adam Darnaby, 27, Joplin Nancy E. Douthitt, 94, Joplin Ellen Doyle, 75, Joplin Richard A. Elmore, 70, Joplin Randy E. England, 34, Neosho Betty Fisher, 86, Joplin Marsha A. Frost, 32, Joplin Sebastian C. Frost, 10, Joplin Charles K. Gaudsmith, 21, Carthage Billie J. Gideon, 77, Joplin Paul E. Haddock, 63, Joplin Caley Lantz Hare, 16, Joplin Dorothy V. Hartman, 91, Joplin Glenn W. Holland, 60, Joplin Charlotte Hopwood, 84, Joplin Hayze Howard, 1, Webb City Harli Howard, 5, Webb City Thomas Russell Howard, 29, Webb City Melisa R. Johnson, 50, Carthage Cheryl L. Jones, 39, Altamont, Kansas James D. Kendrick, 63, Joplin Bruce A. Lievens, 48, Joplin Rachel K. Markham, 31, Joplin Nancy Martin, 52, Neosho Jesse L. McKee, 44, Neosho Randall E. Mell, 49, Joplin Ronald D. Meyer, 64, Joplin Ray Donald Miller III, 49, Joplin Doris Montgomery, 83, Joplin Edmond V. Mullaney, 82, Joplin Sharyl Nelsen, 34, Joplin William R. Norton, 18, Joplin Dennis M. Osborn, 34, Seneca Charles E. Oster, 77, Joplin Shirley Ann Parker, 68, Joplin James B. Peterson, 27, Joplin John H. Petty, 37, Neosho Natalia M. Puebla, 17, Neosho Shelly Marie Ramsey, 42, Neosho Loretta Randell, 54, Joplin Troy Raney, 39, Joplin Virgil T. Reid, 77, Joplin Johnny Richey, 52, Joplin Vicki Robertson, 66, Joplin Keith D. Robinson, 48, Joplin Virginia Mae Salmon, 80, Joplin Tonya L. Sawyer, 41, Fort Scott, Kansas Frances A. Scates, 70, Joplin Gladys J. Seay, 83, Welch, Oklahoma Daniel W. Shirley, 48, Joplin Judy Smith, 71, Joplin Nicholaus A. Smith, 23, Joplin Shyrell L. Smith, 68, Pittsburg, Kansas Steven J. Stephens, 28, Joplin Kayleigh Teal, 16, Pittsburg, Kansas Heather L. Terry, 36, Joplin John Thomas, Jr., 40, Joplin Sandra K. Thomas, 55, Carthage Margaret Tuit, 92, Joplin Michael E. Tyndall, 33, Joplin Darian D. Vanderhoofven, 45, Joplin Joshua D. Vanderhoofven, 1, Joplin Miles Wells, 49, Webb City Tiera Whitley, 20, Fulton, Kansas Zach Williams, 12, Joplin Charles W. Writer, 74, Joplin
  To help reduce the list of unaccounted-for individuals and speed the process of reuniting tornado survivors with loved ones, Spillars urged the public to call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Found-Persons Hotline: 417-895-6868.   To get direction on filing a report about an unaccounted-for individual, families and loved ones may call 417-659-5464 or file a report with the Highway Patrol in person at the Billingsley Student Center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.   The Department of Public Safety will release a daily update of those individuals confirmed as deceased as a result of the tornado, following notification of next-of-kin. The updates will be available on the department Web site,


For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail