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An unidentified decedent, or UID, is a deceased person whose legal identity is unable to be determined by law enforcement. Although the majority of individuals are identified soon after their bodies are recovered, it is not uncommon for bodies to remain unidentified for years or even decades. There are approximately 40,000 unidentified decedents in the United States at any given time. A deceased body can be identified in several different ways. Most commonly, a relative of the deceased identifies the body by sight. However, if a body is decomposed, skeletal, or unrecognizable due to severe facial trauma at the time of recovery, other methods must be used. Some common modes of identification include fingerprint comparison, dental records, chest x-rays and comparing the deceased's DNA to the DNA sequence of relatives such as a parent or sibling. Since identification of a deceased individual is a legal matter, officials require a high degree of certainty in order to make a formal identification.