Forensic Osteological Investigations Laboratory by uE0pRX


									Pathologies and Anomalies: Any anomalous conditions or         are being developed and refined to approximate facial
pathology present on the skeleton will be noted.               features using computer databases and imaging techniques.
                                                                                                                                 Forensic Osteological
Anomalies and pathologies may be documented in                                                                                 Investigations Laboratory
antemortem medical records, known by friends and family,                             Trauma Analysis
and may give clues as to lifestyle or habits, which can        Skeletal trauma analysis includes interpretation of sharp,                     FOIL
provide useful information to help locate and identify         gunshot, blunt trauma, and postmortem damage. The
missing people.                                                location of trauma is documented and, if possible, timed as
                                                               antemortem, perimortem, or postmortem. Anthropologists
                    Positive Identification                    are frequently consulted to identify presence and type of
Positive identification provides an undisputed link between    trauma to the skeleton, determine the number and sequence
the bones of an unknown person to a known person               of gunshot wounds/ blunt trauma, identify site of impact
through a match of unique characteristics. Skeletal sources    and direction of force, discriminate between antemortem
of positive identification include comparison of ante- and     trauma, perimortem trauma and postmortem damage
postmortem radiographs that capture unique features of an      Forensic anthropologists do not determine manner or cause
individual skeleton. Unique skeletal features include, but     of death. The medical examiner/coroner use our findings
are not limited to, sinus patterns in the skull, trabecular    to assist their determination.
bone patterns, medical implants, healed trauma, anomalies
                                                                                                                                  Department of Anthropology
and pathologies.                                                            Interval Since Death Estimation                              Social Sciences 1
                                                               Anthropological methods may be used to reconstruct               University of California Santa Cruz
                  Probable Identification                      events that occurred after death and estimate the                      Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Photo / Video Superimposition: Comparing the skull to          postmortem interval. Estimates are based on the context                   LAB: 831-459-1481
photographs or video captured images can facilitate            that the body was discovered and the condition of the                     FAX: 831-459-5900
probable identifications or exclusions. This method uses a     remains. Decomposition follows predictable general
good photograph or video captured image of the person          patterns under given conditions, however the rate at which
(preferably showing teeth) and a picture of the skull taken    a body passes through these stages is variable. Estimation                 Primary Investigator:
in the same orientation. The known and the questioned          of postmortem interval is not an exact science, but               Dr. Alison Galloway
images are superimposed on each other and the                  estimates do provide a general time frame. Estimates are                  Contact: 831-212-9479
correspondence of anatomical landmarks is compared.            typically given as a minimum to maximum time range,
                                                               such as ‘one to three months’.                                           Secondary Investigators:
Facial Reconstruction: Facial reconstruction (a.k.a. facial                                                                      Chelsey Juarez, MA
approximation) is traditionally used as a last resort to                                                                     Lauren Zephro, MA, CLPE
develop case leads and generate public interest. This
method uses skull shape, biological profile and any              Thank you for considering FOIL for your forensic                Secondary Investigators in Training:
associated evidence (like recovered hair) to approximate         anthropological needs. If you have any questions,            Luke Carlson, MA
what the person might have looked like. The traditional              please feel free to contact our laboratory.                Cris Hughes, MA
method of facial reconstruction uses clay to create a three-
dimensional sculpture built on the skull. Methods are also
          FOIL is comprised of forensic anthropologists       Service Fees:                                                Biological Profile: Sex, Age, Stature, Ancestry,
who specialize in the analysis of human skeletal material     FOIL acts a public service to the surrounding counties.      Anomalies and Pathologies
resulting from unexplained or questionable deaths in a        A suggested fee is negotiated on a case by case basis.       Sex: The best indicator of sex on the adult skeleton is the
medicolegal context. We have a four-six week turn                                                                          shape of the pubic bone of the pelvis. In the addition to the
around time for analysis and case report completion.                                                                       pelvis, characteristics of the sacrum, long bones, and skull
However, this time frame may be shorter or longer                                                                          are used to estimate sex in adult remains. In infants and
depending on the services requested and the nature of the     The following provides a brief description of the analyses   juveniles, estimation of sex is more difficult and is subject
case. FOIL is equipped to maintain chain of custody on all    provided and performed by the forensic anthropologists at    to a lower degree of accuracy due to the absence of many
case materials submitted.                                     FOIL.                                                        of the secondary sex characteristics that emerge in
                                                                                      Is it Human?                         adolescence.
        Alison Galloway is a Professor of Anthropology        A forensic anthropologist will be able to determine if a
at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the primary   bone is human, regardless of the size of the fragment.       Age: In adults, the most accurate indicators of age-at-death
investigator of FOIL. With 25 years experience in the field   Large fragments can be identified by shape, and in most      are the pubic symphysis of the pubic bone, the auricular
of forensic anthropology, she teaches in this area at the     cases, identified to species. Small bone fragments can be    surface of the ilium, and the sternal end of the fourth rib. .
undergraduate and graduate levels. She has handled cases      identified as human or non-human by examining the bone       In addition, the general condition of the skeleton, such as
from Arizona and Tennessee before coming to California.       or the microscopic bone structure. Under many                presence of arthritis, lipping of the vertebral bodies or
Currently, her casework draws from the central coast of       circumstances, clear photographs of the questioned bone      osteoporosis can be used for general age estimates. In
California along with its Central Valley and extreme north.   taken with a scale can be e-mailed to a forensic             young adults and teenagers, the pattern of epiphyseal
She is board certified by the American Board of Forensic      anthropologist for identification to expedite your           fusion of the skeleton and eruption of the teeth are used to
Anthropology, a fellow of the American Academy of             investigation.                                               estimate age. In the fetus, infants and children, dental
Forensic Sciences and an associate member of IAI.                                  Is it Forensic?                         development, epiphyseal fusion, ossification patterns and
                                                              Historic, pre-historic Native American, and human remains    length of the long bones are used to determine age.
Provided Services for Skeletal Remains at FOIL:               of non-forensic importance are commonly encountered as
    Assessment of biological profile                         questioned specimens. Other types of non-forensic cases      Stature: Stature in adults is estimated by measuring long
    Trauma analysis                                          include anatomical specimens, trophy skulls and scattered    bone length and extrapolating the measurements to
    Pathology analysis                                       cremated remains. A forensic anthropologist can readily      estimate living height. Fragmentary bones may also be
                                                                                                                           used to approximate living stature. In teenagers and
    Postmortem Interval Estimation                           identify these remains. Until the bones are determined to
                                                                                                                           children (who are not fully grown) stature estimates are not
    Crime scene recovery and/or excavation                   be of non-forensic importance, the bones and location
                                                                                                                           accurate. Stature estimates are sex and population specific.
    Human vs. animal determination                           should be treated as a crime scene and the coroner should
                                                                                                                           Estimates are given as an interval.
    Identification based on the skeleton                     be notified immediately.
                                                                                                                           Ancestry: Ancestry is difficult to access from skeletal
We do not provide DNA analysis, autopsy services, or                          Crime Scene Investigation
                                                              FOIL can contribute vital information in the recovery and    remains. There are no “pure” races and bureaucratic
trace evidence analysis. We highly encourage counties to                                                                   assessments of ancestry or cultural identification may not
collect their own trace evidence as the laboratory is not     investigation of scattered, buried, extensively burned or
                                                              decomposed bodies/bones. Crime scenes in which a             reflect biology. Characteristics of the teeth, facial skeleton,
equipped to properly handle or store trace evidence.                                                                       cranium, and femur are most useful for determination of
                                                              forensic anthropologist would be vital include decomposed
                                                              bodies, scattered remains, graves, mass disasters, fires,    ancestry. Measurements of adult skeletons can also be
                                                              explosions or car crashes with burned bodies.                used to estimate ancestry.

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