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Estimation of Biological Parameters for Human Identification in Cases of Missing Persons, Mass Disasters, and Human Rights Violations

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2012
394 pages
This research produced osteometric, morphological, and isotopic parameters for human identification, a large database of unique skeletal biomarkers for human identification, population-specific methods for biological profiling, and photographic and 3D reference materials.
This research into human identification investigated the significance of several methods applied across populations and provides a framework that can be applied in a variety of contexts, including craniometric biodistance, age and sex estimation, and chemical and elemental isotopes. The investigation focused on craniometric variation among Nigerian Africans and persons of African descent in other selected countries, including the United States. The population-specific parameters for sex estimation were developed for Botswana. Accurate age parameters were evaluated for juveniles, and tests were conducted for population variation among adult aging methods. Isotopic and elemental analyses were conducted for hair, bone, and teeth. Morgue work at Lagos State University College of Medicine (Nigeria) resulted in the collection of demographic data (n=2,887), skeletal age biomarkers for sternal ribs and pubic symphyses (n=474), and photographs of skeletal variation (n=270). Data include age, sex, ethnicity, stature, weight, presence of nutritional or metabolic disease, chemical and elemental data, cause and manner of death, drug use, and location/time since death. Initial fieldwork was also undertaken in Asaba, Nigeria, where the 1967 massacre of over 500 Igbos over several days resulted in the creation of large mass burials. The grave sites were mapped and protocols were developed for collecting missing person data and conducting witness interviews. Photographs and 3D images of skeletal and 3D images of skeletal variation in the collections were created as a reference guide for researchers and practitioners. Extensive figures and appended supplementary information

Date Published: July 1, 2012