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Missing DNA mystery solved by News 4

by Chris Nagus

KMOV.com

Posted on February 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM

(News 4 Investigates) -- It's bad enough when a family member dies, but imagine if a human error forced you to wait months to say goodbye.

It might sound bizarre, but it's happening to one local family and News 4 stepped in to try and sort out the mess.
 
Her headstone is already in place, but the family of Sherri Wood hasn't been able to bury her remains.
“When we do get the results we want to bury her between her mom and dad” Sherri’s uncle Greg Bufford told us.
In July Sherri went missing, the town of Elsberry, Missouri plastered her picture on storefronts across town.
In august, a body matching her description was found in a riverbank.
 
It was a tragic end, but the nightmare wasn't over for Sherri's family.
They needed a death certificate to close out her estate, and they needed DNA confirmation to prove the body was Sherri.
“They're telling us 24 months to start with… the Lincoln county coroner said the Missouri medical examiner lab told him” said Bufford.
 
There is a backlog at the state crime lab in Jefferson City, 2,819 DNA cases are in line to be tested, but when News 4 called the crime lab they didn't have any record of Sherri Wood.
 
Sherri’s uncle was under the assumption her DNA was in line with all the others.
So News 4’s Chris Nagus called the St. Louis county medical examiner's office. They told him Sherri's DNA was still there, and until he got involved it had never been requested for testing.
 
Chris Nagus called the Lincoln county sheriff's office and a few days later the agency picked up Sherri's DNA, five months after her body was recovered.
The agency doesn't want to point fingers or assign blame for the delay and says they have now sent the DNA to an undisclosed location for testing.
Sherri's family feels like she was forgotten
“If she was a political figure or someone like that maybe this would have been done faster” said Bufford.
 
According to the Lincoln county sheriff's office they will keep us posted when they get official DNA results back.
Greg Bufford says a detective told him Sherri's DNA was sent to Texas for testing.

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