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Development of a Computer-Assisted Forensic Radiographic Identification Method Using the Lateral Cervical and Lumbar Spin

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2015
Sharon M. Derrick, Michelle H. Raxter, John A. Hipp, Priya Goel, Elaine F. Chan, Jennifer C. Love, Jason M. Wiersema, Shastry Akella
Six validation tests measured the repeatability, reliability, and sensitivity of the computer-assisted decedent method for medical examiners’ identification of fleshed decedents, and the effects of age, sex, and number of radiographs in array composition.
Medical examiners and coroners (ME/C) in the United States hold statutory responsibility to identify deceased individuals who fall under their jurisdiction. The computer-assisted decedent identification (CADI) project was designed to modify software used in diagnosis and treatment of spinal injuries into a mathematically validated tool for ME/C identification of fleshed decedents. In the current study, CADI returned a 92–100 percent success rate in identifying the true matching pair of vertebrae within arrays of five to 30 radiographs. Further development of CADI is expected to produce a novel identification method for use in ME/C offices that is reliable, timely, and cost-effective. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: June 23, 2016