K&R News


2016-08-26 | CBP Reports 850 Unidentified Illegal Alien Bodies in One Morgue
The bodies of as many as 850 illegal alien men, women and children who died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully now lie frozen and unidentified in a morgue in Tucson, Ariz., according to an Arizona medical examiner. CBP explained in a press release published this week:

2016-08-19 | Forensic Experts Struggle to Identify Drowned Migrants
Teams of forensic scientists in Italy and Greece are painstakingly trying to identify the victims of drowning found at sea, washed up on shores or recovered from wrecks. However, there is no common practice to collect information about these deaths between states or even sometimes within the same country, and a plan by the Dutch-based International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) to start tracing lost migrants is still awaiting funding.

2016-08-08 | Naming the Dead: Next-Generation DNA Sequencing at an Ohio Crime Lab
Ninety of Ohio's unnamed dead, found over decades, remain in storage in state crime labs. Their stories, other than their endings, are mysteries. The DNA in the remains is so degraded, it cannot be tested against databases which may give the deceased their identities back. But a new public-private partnership has brought “next-generation” DNA sequencing to one of the state’s laboratories, and one of the main goals will be to work on those unidentified bodies – with an eye toward tracking down the 1,200 people missing at any given time in the state, authorities announced last month.

2016-08-05 | Analyzing Unknown Human Remains: Cold Missing Persons Case
The adoption of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology in the forensic industry is in its infancy, but its ability to garner more actionable information, particularly in compromised samples, is undeniable. Better described as massively parallel sequencing (MPS), the technology was introduced in the 21st century and has fundamentally revolutionized how biological systems could be studied with unprecedented throughput, scalability and speed. Important discoveries already have been made in many fields, in which, it is applied. For the forensics community in particular, MPS offers a highly complementary tool to Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) that is helping scientists in the field delve deeper into genetic information and find answers to very challenging questions.

2016-06-20 | Advanced DNA Could I.D. Thousands of Unknowns in Kosovo
Beyond the dead, the year-long war in Kosovo left an estimated 4,500 missing in the tiny country. Some 1,700 remain unaccounted for today. Almost all the missing are almost certainly dead, hidden amid the mounds of skeletal remains collected in the wake of the rebellion.

2016-06-13 | Forensic Scientist Helps Vietnamese Counterparts Identify Wartime Remains
"The U.S. solved a lot of cases," Coble said, including many that became solvable only in the last decade as research led to powerful new techniques for analyzing DNA. "But the Vietnamese are at the beginning of the process." That process is likely to be a long one. The war left 300,000 Vietnamese unaccounted for, their remains either missing or unidentified. That process will also be a very personal one. "Many of the scientists who participated in the workshop were children during the war, and they and their families experienced it firsthand," Coble said.

2016-04-28 | Decade after funeral, woman presumed dead talks about mistaken ID
But in the chaos of the devastating wreck, medics attached the ID of another student, 22-year-old Laura Van Ryn, to her bandaged body, the Indianapolis Star reported. The switch meant Van Ryn’s family stood by Cerak’s bedside for five weeks, believing the blonde in a coma was their Laura. Meanwhile, the Ceraks held a funeral for their daughter, not knowing they were actually burying Van Ryn.

2016-03-24 | New Standards for Identifying Remains with X-Ray Imaging
Based on “concordant areas”—the areas that positively match in both the ante-mortem and postmortem X-rays—the different locations came back with different rates for positive identification. The most definitive locations were the skull and spine, 97 and 98 percent respectively, with misclassification rates of 10 and 7 percent. The lower back performed much worse: as low as 40 percent misclassification rate, according to the study.

2016-03-21 | "Old method re-invented" - Use footprints to identify disaster victims, say Japanese investigators
Two former detectives from the Tokyo metropolitan police department say the ridge patterns on the soles of a person’s feet are a more reliable means of identification in natural disasters, as victims are sometimes found with badly damaged or missing digits.

2016-02-24 | Authorities Reveal DNA Identification Process for Bodies Found in Brooks Co.
The only way to recover a family member’s DNA is by a police officer. “Ultimately you’re looking for a DNA sample to be taken from those remains, and then collected from a family DNA reference sample that’s collected from the family,” Strand said. The South Texas Human Rights Center has files open on 230 missing people.

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