Cataldie said 534 of the people reported as missing are now counted among Katrina's dead. He does not want to estimate how many of the 4,783 people still missing may have died.
“If our statistics hold true it could be as many as 5% to 10% of that number, which would be several hundred people,” Cataldie said. “But again, I don't know that; and I really don't want to make that blanket statement."
If callers have not seen a family member since Katrina, they are asked to complete an eight page questionnaire that asks for identifying features. The staff here searches the internet for clues, and seeks medical records from dentists and surgeons.
“I'm very concerned that people might have been lost in the surge. (The deceased individuals) might have gotten into the river…So I don't think we'll ever find everybody,” Cataldie said.