NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It was Memorial Day weekend in 2018 when Sofia McKenna went sailing with a friend and never returned home.

It was a tragedy that took her friend’s life, and has left Sofia McKenna’s mother wondering where her daughter is to this day.

“[It’s] so tough,” Michelle McKenna said. “Very tough.”

A new effort hopes to help bring closure to these families by using DNA.

Here’s what happens: When unidentified human remains are found, police send a DNA sample into the Combined DNA Index System database (also known as CODIS). If a family member already has a sample in the database, then police could see a possible DNA connection. If there isn’t a “hit,” then the family member’s sample will remain in the system in case remains are found in the future.

“What really we’re looking to do is provide families a way or means to find missing loved ones,” Connecticut State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema said.

An investigator with the Connecticut Office of the Connecticut Medical Examiner said there are about 40 unidentified remains that have been found in Connecticut.

The DNA donation drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the main entrance of the University of New Haven, according to an announcement from state police. The drive is meant to for family members who have not already submitted a DNA sample into the missing person database.

The drive is for the parents, siblings and children of missing persons. If you haven’t reported a family member missing who is unaccounted for, Connecticut State Police urge you to do so.

The DNA samples will only be used to identify those unidentified remains, according to police. Jeltema said it will not be used to solve crimes.

Michelle McKenna doesn’t remember if police asked for her DNA, but said she’d definitely be willing to participate in a drive.

She wonders if her daughter’s remains may have been found and not identified. It’s a dilemma state police said is facing tens of thousands of families across the country.

The DNA drive hopes to help families in Connecticut who have been suffering.

“And they would have closure, and that’s one thing I never got,” Michelle McKenna said.