HELENA – Nyleen Marshall is just one of hundreds of missing people from Montana listed on the Missing Persons Clearing House.

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice.

The Clearinghouse is a real time, always changing list compiled with information from the FBI.

“Clearinghouses are a network basically, between states. So if we have a case that crosses state lines, we can contact the clearinghouse manager in another state and we work together to try and locate the missing people,” explained Programs Manager with the Department of Justice Jennifer Viets.

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As information about a missing person is entered in the federal database, Montana’s missing persons list is updated, and varies daily.

According to Viets, “As soon as an agency enters a missing person record into the FBI missing persons’ file, some of that information is posted to the website.”

The process works in reverse as well, “As soon as they’re located, they [FBI] remove them [missing person] from the system and they’re removed from the website [Clearinghouse],” Viets said.

Montana’s Clearinghouse is run by Department of Justice employees and provides information to the public about anyone who is missing in the state.

The Office of Public Instruction is also given a report of all the missing children in the state.

“They’re able to look through their school’s registries and confirm whether or not any of those missing children end up in their schools. So this does help local law enforcement find some of these missing children,” said Megan Martin, compliance auditor with the Department of Justice.

The list is manually updated by DOJ staff once a week using information from the Clearinghouse with identifiers, “Things like name, date of birth, physical identifiers, date of last contacted is also included,” Martin explained.

Long term missing persons are listed on the Clearinghouse, whether they have been missing for more than 30 years like Nyleen Marshall, or a year.

“About 80 cases are long term cases and the rest have been missing for less than a year,” Viets said.

But anyone missing in Montana stays on the Clearinghouse until they are found.

Every missing person counts for us, we don’t take them off the list until we have located them,” said Viets.

Missing persons can be searched on the website by alphabetical order or geographic region.

Click here to be directed to the Clearinghouse database.

Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse Contact:

Phone: (406) 444-1526
E-mail: MNCMEC@mt.gov

Read about the 33 year old cold case on the disappearance of four-year-old Nyleen Marshall during the summer of 1983 here.

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