Document Detail

Percentage of body recovered and its effect on identification rates and cause and manner of death determination.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17456077     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Anthropologists frequently encounter cases in which only partial human remains are recovered. This study reports how the percentage of the body recovered affects identification (ID) rates and cause and manner of death determination. A total of 773 cases involving anthropology consults were drawn from the New Mexico medical examiner's office (1974-2006). Results indicate a significant correlation between body percent recovered and ID rates, which ranged from 89% for complete bodies to 56% when less than half the body was present. Similar patterns were evident in cause/manner determination, which were the highest (83% and 79%, respectively) in complete bodies but declined to 40% when less than half the body was found. The absence of a skull also negatively impacted ID and ruling rates. Findings are compared with general autopsy ID rates (94-96%) and cause/manner determination rates (96-99%) as well as prior published rates for individual casework and mass death events.
Debra A Komar; Wendy E Potter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  52     ISSN:  0022-1198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  2007 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-25     Completed Date:  2007-07-31     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  528-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
Office of the Medical Investigator, MSC11 6030, and Department of Anthropology, MSC01 1040, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death*
Coroners and Medical Examiners
Forensic Anthropology / statistics & numerical data*
New Mexico
Skull / pathology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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