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1023 Forensic Anthropology Cases.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Forensic Science
Hisham Ragab

ForensicAnthropology and the Real World Types of Cases - Missing persons - Remains found by accident - Bodies severely damaged/destroyed - Many graves & international cases Many situations were expertise of forensic anthropologist is not needed Missing Persons Cases - Assess what is known & set up a search - Employ the necessary personnel & equipment - Be sure to use appropriate maps - Systematically perform search - KNOW WHAT IS BEING LOOKED FOR  Full body?  Scattered remains?  Clandestine grave?  Metal objects? - Continually assess & reevaluate the scene Kathy Wilson Cold Case - On 20/10/1970 in Kirkland Lake, 12 years old Kathy Wilson went missing while walking home from grocery store - Robert Manion, a distant cousin was a person of interest, but not enough evidence to arrest - Case became cold until it was reopened in 2006  Manion confessed to abduction & murder, disposing body in woods  Manion led police to area where murder took place  After sentenced, Manion found dead in cell - Trained volunteers contacted to search for Kathy’s remains - What? /Who?  Remains of 12 years old girl  Bag of groceries left beside body  Blue pants, blue & red shirt - Where?  In woods approximately 30m from passenger side door of Manion’s truck which was parked on service road  Coniferous forest  Acidic soil speeds up bone destruction  Likely scavenged by animals - When?  Almost 39 years prior to search date - How?  Body left on forest floor near large tree, covered with leaves Accidental Discovery - Undocumented cemeteries, mass graves & historic burials often found  Remains also wash up on shore, stumbled upon in wilderness - Forensic anthropologists asked to assess whether remains are forensically significant - Always approach as forensically significant - If found to be non-forensically significant  Handling of the remains & site turned over to the city  Private archaeology firm is hired - If forensically significant  Forensic pathology service & forensic anthropologist process scene, exhume body & bring to morgue for examination Found during Construction-Fort Erie Severe Damage - Bodies may be made unrecognizable  Fire and heat damage  Arson  Clandestine cremations  Accidental fires  Bodies found in water  Dismembered remains  What instruments used to dismember? - Destruction/lack of soft tissue evidence - DNArecover
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