Neville, a forensic artist with the Florence County Sheriff's Office and a former member
of the Dillon County Violent Crime Task Force, is now serving as the Area Director for
South Carolina for the DoeNetwork & Project EDAN which seeks to give the unidentified
a name. According to Project EDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) founder Todd Matthews,
Project EDAN "offers a way to enhance forgotten cases. It helps to give a face
to cases that never had one due to a lack of funding."
who joined the project at the very beginning in early 2001, describes EDAN as a "one
of a kind organization." "Many agencies around the country do not have the
resources or time to dedicate to missing persons or unidentified persons cases, which take
a tremendous amount of man-hours to investigate," Neville
explained. "Project EDAN not only offers these agencies access to a forensic
artist, but also acts as a 24 hours a day investigative service. That is to say, that
someone within the organization is always searching, trying to match up a missing person
with an unidentified one," said Neville.
recalled how he became involved with Project EDAN. "Todd Matthews is the mastermind
behind this project and when he proposed his idea for EDAN, I
immediately contacted him offering my assistance. The DoeNetwork as well as Project EDAN
are projects I believe in. The law enforcement professionals as well as civilian
volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds involved in with the DoeNetwork offer a
fantastic resource for the law enforcement community," Neville said.
after he came on board, Neville was approached by Helene Wahlstrom of the DoeNetwork about
becoming the S.C. director for the DoeNetwork and Project EDAN. Neville decided to take on
this role. "I felt that since I am a fellow law enforcement officer, that
investigators would feel more secure about disclosing information on a particular
case than they would with a civilian 'outsider' individual. The number one goal is to get
the information about these unidentified cases out there. Obviously, if no one sees the
image of the unidentified, then chances of that person being identified are minimal. The
Internet provides us with a wonderful resource to distribute the images to a large
audience," said Neville.
area director, Neville will have many responsibilities. Neville explains, "As the
S.C. Director, I am basically the contact person for cases that involve a case from South
Carolina. In other words, if a potential match comes up involving either
a S.C. missing person, or an unidentified S.C. person, I would contact the agency where
that case originated from. I would let them know of the potential match,
find out whether dental records are available, or other details that may assist in a
positive ID, or rule out the possibility."
In South Carolina, Neville has done sketches for three cases - two from Sumter and one
from Aiken - for Project EDAN. He has also done sketches and reconstructions for other
states as well that can be seen on his website
(www.forensicartist.com), or to view the cases
from other states visit the sub-page (http://www.forensicartist.com/doenetwork/bio.html
Matthews says that Project EDAN is very fortunate to have Neville as part of the team.
"Wesley is one of our busiest artists doing facial reconstructions in clay and sketch
form. It would be impossible to list all the comparisons he makes come alive for us by
doing expert overlays to compare cranial-facial features. Having a real expert on-board
have proved to be invaluable. He is always one of the first to volunteer for a job, and I
know he is sometimes already swamped with other work. Yet he always makes time to
help others," Matthews said. Neville and Matthews would like to see more of the law
enforcement community and public involved in the project."
become involved in Project EDAN and the DoeNetwork, go to the website (www.doenetwork.org). The site will provide a link to
a page, which explains
the process. Many people out there have valuable insight to particular aspects of an
investigation. Some are great with matching tattoos, some with scars. Others are wonderful
at noticing the likeness or 'gestalt' of a person through looking at a sketch or
reconstruction. Some have first hand knowledge about certain cases, etc.. As you can see,
by pooling all of these folks together for a single cause, can be most beneficial,"
said Neville. Matthews added, "Law enforcement has the option of contacting the EDAN
project directly through the DoeNetwork. We are especially receptive to cases where there
has been no attempt at reconstruction, and maybe the department doesn't have their own
artist. We are aware that some departments do not have the resources to hire someone for
art. We hope our volunteers can help to ease the problem a bit. As advised by
several forensic experts while developing this project, we use forensically trained expert
Matthews continued, "Another thing the public could do is take the time to look at
some cases from time to time. It is of the utmost importance that the public see these
images. You never know what you might see now...and relate it to something you might see
in the future."