I read about this Frederick (Md.) News-Post project on Al’s Morning Meeting for July 3, 2007.
The project used databases to discover that 88,000 American soldiers are still missing from as far back as World War II.
Al Tompkins interviewed David Simon, assistant city editor, for details on how to proceed with such a project, and he gives some interesting ideas for localizing it.
It’s worth a read about how they used government databases, from the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, which can be sorted to your state and even smaller, to your town, to discover soldiers who are still missing.
Once they discovered the names of missing in their coverage area, they began looking for surviving family members to interview. They scoured obituaries and also worked with public information officers at DPMO to locate family members.