People who believe they are descendants of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre can now provide genetic material to help scientists when they begin trying to identify remains of possible victims.
Danny Hellwig, laboratory director with Intermountain Forensics, said Wednesday that researchers are not ready to begin trying to match DNA for identification, but an outpouring of requests from local residents on how to provide genetic material led them to begin the process of accepting donations.
“That’s what prompted this,” Hellwig said. “We didn’t expect the amount of support and willingness to help… people have jumped out of the woodwork” to offer their DNA for testing.
Black people who had ancestors in Tulsa in 1921 are sought, Hellwig said.
“What we need is to populate these databases with family lines” of direct descendants, making identifications of the remains possible within days, Hellwig said.
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