How do we identify human remains?
The recent case of a surgical implant found inside a Queensland crocodile has highlighted the challenges forensic scientists face when trying to identify human remains without much evidence to go on.
Did the crocodile eat a human with a surgical implant? If so, could the implant — a metal plate and some screws — be used to identify the victim? Or did the implant come from a dog?
Death by crocodile is reasonably rare. In the past decade, there have been about 67 crocodile attacks in Australia, a quarter of which were fatal.
Victim identification can be impossible in these cases, unless a body part with a unique characteristic is recovered, such as a medical device with a serial number. It’s just one of a range of potential techniques to put names and faces to hundreds of unidentified human remains in Australia.
Read the full story in The Conversation: How do we identify human remains?