ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Minnesota authorities are urging families of missing persons to provide DNA samples in an effort to match their DNA to unidentified remains.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension exhumed the remains of three men and two women last summer. Their identities were not known when they were buried.

Reports say BCA officials said a DNA sample from a close family member could be the first step in getting some answers.

The BCA will hold events statewide where close family members of missing persons can provide DNA samples. The first of these collection events is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at BCA headquarters in St. Paul.

The BCA began a larger effort to identify remains in 2013. Since then, five people have been identified through DNA testing.