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A specific identification from mixed skeletal remains in a cemetery setting

Guareschi, E.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-9883-9872 (2021) A specific identification from mixed skeletal remains in a cemetery setting. In: Forensic Pathology Case Studies. Academic Press, pp. 47-56.

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The exhumation of a female toddler girl in 1992 triggered off a long judicial litigation about an alleged commingling of skeletal remains in a modern cemetery setting. The examination of the skeletal remains was conducted using the scientific principles, methodology and practice of forensic anthropology and forensic genetics. Some elements in the skeletal assemblage were easily recognizable as human, and were labelled by morphology, whereas others were fragmented. All bones and fragments were dry and odourless, and most, but not all, showed small size and developmental juvenile morphology. Representative bones of both the juvenile individual and other older individuals were selected for genetic analysis, and compared to the DNA of both the toddler’s parents. The outcome of the combined examination confirmed the commingling of skeletal remains. The case exemplifies how anthropology is a useful forensic tool when dealing with juvenile osteology, posthumous genetic identification and bioarchaeology in modern cemetery settings, especially when unusual taphonomic alterations are observable.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Inc.
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