Document Detail

Contribution of forensic anthropology to identification process in Croatia: examples of victims recovered in wells.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17696305     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIM: To describe the contribution of forensic anthropology to the recovery, analysis, and identification of victims from the 1991-1995 war in Croatia recovered in wells.
METHODS: From 1996 to the present, human remains of a total of 61 individuals have been recovered from 13 wells. Six wells contained the remains of a single individual, one well contained the remains of 2 individuals, and 6 wells contained the remains 3 or more individuals. The majority of wells, containing 90.2% (55/61) of recovered individuals, were located within a 4 km radius of the Croatian-Serbian border.
RESULTS: Forensic anthropologists re-individualized 26/61 (42.6%) individuals out of skeletonized and commingled remains, provided basic biological data on sex, age-at-death, and stature in all identifications (n=37), as well as established positive identification by recognizing unique skeletal features (antemortem fractures and skeletal evidence of antemortem surgical interventions) in 3/37 (8.1%) cases. Trauma analyses carried out by forensic anthropologists contributed to the determination of the cause of death in 38/61 (62.3%) individuals and to the probable cause of death in an additional 18/61 (29.5%) individuals. The most frequent (27/38, 71.0%) type of trauma causing death in individuals recovered from wells was a single gunshot wound.
CONCLUSION: Forensic anthropologists, collaborating closely with forensic pathologists, forensic odontologists, forensic radiologists, criminologists, and molecular biologists contributed significantly to trauma analysis and identification of war victims recovered from wells.
Mario Slaus; Davor Strinović; Vedrana Petrovecki; Vlasta Vyroubal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Croatian medical journal     Volume:  48     ISSN:  1332-8166     ISO Abbreviation:  Croat. Med. J.     Publication Date:  2007 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-16     Completed Date:  2007-09-25     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9424324     Medline TA:  Croat Med J     Country:  Croatia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  503-12     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Archaeology, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb, Croatia.
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MeSH Terms
Forensic Anthropology*

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