Specialized services

Actual photo

Child at age 14

Age progressed photo

Age progressed to 16

Computer Age Progression

Photo Age Progression is a combination of science and art. It enables a trained Forensic Artist to create from photographs a portrait with a likeness of what a missing child might look like today.

When a child has been reported missing, it is essential that the investigating police officer has a complete description and other important information about the child. When a child has been missing over an extended period of time, the original photographs of the child become outdated. It is important that an Investigator has up-to-date photographs of the child for use on flyers and posters, to verify sightings and generate new leads for the police.

The main objective of NCMPUR Operations is to assist police nationally and internationally in the search for, and recovery of, missing children. This technology can be a useful tool to an Investigator.

This service is available to all police agencies across Canada and may be utilized at any time by contacting NCMPUR Operations.

The ideal criteria for a request for Computer Photo Age Progression of missing children:

  1. The child must be a minimum of two years of age.
  2. The child must be missing for a minimum of two years.
  3. Photographs of the child taken as close to the day of disappearance as possible must be available, preferably a frontal view.
  4. Provide photographs of the biological parents and/or brothers and sisters at the age the child's photo is being aged to.
  5. Provide photographs of the biological parents and/or brothers and sisters at the same age as the child was when last seen, most suitably in the same position as the photo of the child.
  6. Photographs may be in either colour or black & white.
  7. DO NOT mark on the photographs in any way. Comments should be attached on a separate piece of paper. (For example: identifying the location of a specific scar.)
  8. The best photographs are the "school picture" type. The more photos available, the better chance the Forensic Artist has in obtaining a good likeness.

Travel Reunification Services

This program is designed to assist a parent or a legal guardian who cannot afford to return the abducted child to or within Canada, once the child is located.

The Air Canada Foundation has generously agreed to provide transportation when required. The Travel/Reunification program would not be possible without this sponsorship.

In order to be eligible for travel assistance, the following guidelines must be met.

  1. The request for transportation must come from a police agency investigating a child abduction complaint or from the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR).
  2. The requesting agency is responsible for assessing the financial status of the family and determining if transportation should be provided. (For example: whether the requesting parent's financial circumstances would make paying for the child and/or parent's transportation prohibitive).
  3. Assistance will be limited to child abduction situations, including situations where the child is abducted by parent or legal guardian.
  4. Assistance will be provided to transport:
    • In the case of older abducted children, home; and
    • In the case of younger children, enable the left behind parent or legal guardian to travel to the jurisdiction where the child is and return home.
  5. In some cases, it may be appropriate for a person other than the left behind parent or legal guardian to retrieve the child and accompany the child home.
  6. If the left behind parent is travelling to retrieve the child, the requesting authority must make every reasonable effort to confirm/ensure that the parent will be able to obtain legal physical custody of the child. For example, consideration should be given to whether a return order is pending or under appeal, the child's whereabouts are known, there are legal impediments to the child's removal, etc.
  7. The requesting agency must ensure that the parent or legal guardian has all the necessary documents in order to retrieve the child. For example: child's birth certificate; custody order; passport and any other necessary travel documents.
  8. Assistance will not be provided to transport the abductor, even if he or she is the
    person able to accompany the child home.

Arrangements will only be initiated once confirmation has been received that the child can be removed legally and is in custody of local authorities. The parent or legal guardian must be able to obtain legal physical custody of the child upon arrival.


NCMPUR Operations will not reimburse parents who have made prior flight arrangements. All arrangements must be made through NCMPUR.

Facial approximation - step 1


Facial approximation - step 2

In progress

Facial approximation - step 3


Facial Approximation

The use of a Forensic Facial Imaging Specialist or a Forensic Artist has proven to be a valuable resource to assist police investigators in solving investigations.

Facial approximation, often referred to as facial reconstruction, is a process based upon the recognition of the fact that there exists a predictable relationship between the skull and the overlying soft tissues. This form of identification technique should be considered when other traditional methods, such as fingerprints, DNA comparison, and dental records, fail to identify a victim. This technique is used when the facial features of the unidentified deceased person are missing (skeleton) or severely damaged or decomposed beyond recognition.

It is called a facial approximation since an exact likeness from a recovered skull can never be achieved, as there are too many variables. This method can produce a face similar in proportions and facial features to the type of face the individual had before death. The final result is released to the public with the intention to generate tips, and therefore assisting investigators in finding a successful conclusion to their cases.

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