NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The United States Department of Justice plans to spend $800,000 to address the rising number of missing and murdered Native Americans. The funds will go to National Missing and Unidentified Persons System to directly support investigations of unsolved cases.

It will help review all cases to see if more forensic testing is needed and gather DNA profiles and family members’ DNA if necessary. According to a news release from the Department of Justice, the investment comes from a recommendation from the federal Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, known as Operation Lady Justice.

The news release state that the investment supports the executive order issued by President Joe Biden last week “to reduce violence against Native American people, and to ensure swift and effective Federal action that responds to the problem of missing or murdered indigenous people.”

Operation Lady Justice was created in 2019 to address the concerns of American Indian and Alaska Native communities regarding missing and murdered people, particularly women and girls, the news release states.