Hanna Friedlander named Michigan State Police Civilian of the Year

Friedlander Named Civilian of the Year by Michigan State Police


February 14, 2023


Project Recover is proud to announce that Hanna Friedlander was named Civilian of the Year by the Michigan State Police (MSP). Hanna works with MSP Intelligence Operations as a Human Remains Analyst. She is also a Project Recover team member.

Hanna Friedlander

“I get immense satisfaction from my current position with the Michigan State Police, helping those located within the State of Michigan, and their families,” Fiedlander said.

Hanna joined the Project Recover team in 2022. She has a lifelong passion to bring Missing in Action service members home to their families. 

“Recovering MIAs and bringing them home to their families was the driving force behind me wanting to become a forensic anthropologist. Project Recover has given me an avenue to fulfill my passion,” she said. 

Derek Abbey, Project Recover President, said that Project Recover’s mission to bring MIAs home attracts people with exceptional expertise, unwavering commitment, and a powerful desire to contribute.

“Hanna is one of those people. We are proud that she is a valuable member of Project Recover and for the incredible difference she is making for the state of Michigan,” Abbey said.

Forensic Anthropologist

Friedlander has worked with the Michigan State Police since 2018. As a Human Remains Analyst, she works with canine and crime scene response teams to search, locate and recover unidentified remains and victims of homicide, suicide, or accidental deaths. She also assists in cold case investigations, particularly searching for remains and investigative genetic genealogy case coordination and tracking. 

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In her role with MSP, Hanna teaches law enforcement, firefighters and fire investigators, and crime scene personnel about forensic anthropology, the search and recovery of human remains, and investigative genetic genealogy.

Hanna has strengthened MSP’s tribal consultation and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation (NAGPRA) response times to help repatriate ancestral human remains.

We are delighted that Hanna will be putting her expertise to work Project Recover. She is a highly regarding anthropologist and increases our capacity to bring more American MIAs home.

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  2. Welcome to Project Recover, Hanna. As the niece of my Uncle who is MIA in Palau, I am forever grateful for those dedicated to the search for the remains of our fallen. I can never say enough to show my appreciation to the original Bent Prop Project team members and now the Project Recover team. You are all amazing people. Thank you.