Since the tool’s launch in September 2015, users have submitted more than 675 potential matches.

Some agencies have asked Budowle to create a fee-for-service model, but he said the lab isn’t set up to operate that way, and it would leave out agencies that can’t afford DNA analysis.

To date, it has made connections with family DNA samples to more than 2,200 unidentified cases.

“It’s a very important issue, and you can fully understand why sexual assaults are given such a high priority, because they are such a heinous crime,” Budowle said.

“However, I wouldn’t dismiss the human remains one because many of these people have been through the same, if not worse, abuses.” Since 2008, the National Institute of Justice has awarded more than $23 million toward helping universities, medical examiners, law enforcement agencies and private laboratories analyze DNA samples for the purposes of identifying the missing and unidentified dead.

Dental records and fingerprints are other methods used to identify human remains, but they aren’t always available, especially for cases in which bodies have been found in a decomposed state or only partial remains were found.

Budowle does not know whether the grant might be renewed in the future, but said short-term funding cuts have consequences on the types of DNA testing his lab can offer.

“A lot of these agencies, they don’t have a lot of money for these kinds of things, especially the small police departments or sheriff’s (departments), where there are a few people in a small area,” Budowle said.

“One case can burn out their entire budget.” The National Institute of Justice said there are other sources of federal funding for law enforcement agencies for DNA testing in criminal investigations that involve missing and unidentified persons.

In 1891, Paul Gauguin, the friend and sometime rival of Vincent Van Gogh, traveled to Tahiti and began to create the famous paintings that evoke visions of exotic natural beauty and mysterious island culture.

Yet from February to June, for four months before Gauguin arrived, two Americans sought to explore the “real” Tahiti, to experience its landscape and understand its history.

Many crime labs across the country have significant backlogs of the kits.“It’s a very important issue, and you can fully understand why sexual assaults are given such a high priority, because they are such a heinous crime,” Budowle said.