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Enhancing Scene Processing Protocols to Improve Victim Identification and Field Detection of Human Remains at Mass Fatality Scenes

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $282,540)

Current protocols for the processing of mass fatality scenes do not consider recording of spatial and contextual data relevant to victim identification. Additionally, current search techniques result in suboptimal detection rates of human remains, and are highly inefficient in terms of time and personnel costs. When faced with the prospect of 'processing' a large-scale incident, the sheer volume of material present at the scene often overwhelms investigators, who then tend to minimize the importance of proper and detailed documentation of the spatial distribution of the remains. Building on previous research and already tested protocols, this project proposes the enhancement of mass fatality scene processing protocols, through the incorporation of readily available technologies, already in use in law enforcement and first response agencies for other forensic purposes. This project includes both methodology testing and the production of detailed, user-friendly written protocols (training and implementation manuals) and supporting electronic materials (contextual databases). This technology will facilitate the processing of mass fatality scenes, thereby speeding the analysis of evidence and identification of victims and decreasing case backlog. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 15, 2008