Identification of Human Remains

Pathology of Death

Unit II Workbook



Part A:

Demonstrate knowledge of Human and Animal Remains

On the Internet, find one readable and clear image of either a skeletal or decomposing animal remains.  Once a clear image is found, find an image of similar human skeleton or remains. Paste the images side by side below. Ensure you include your reference for each image. Then, answer the questions provided.

   Paste image of animal remains here                                      Paste image of similar human remains here
Name visible differences between the two.    
Name visible similarities between the two.    
What method(s) would you use to determine if the remains are human or animal? Think scientific vs. nonscientific.    

Part B:

Critical Thinking Exercise: Antemortem, Death Event, and Postmortem Evidence Analysis  

The textbook discusses phases of the death events concerning evidence and factors found at the scene. These are antemortem, death event, and postmortem phases. In the table below, read the types of evidence or observations found at a death scene, and explain how each should be considered in all three phases. It is expected that some answers will be more probable than other responses. An example is given.

 AntemortemDeath EventPostmortem
Chewed gum (example)    Decedent was chewing gum prior to deathThe decedent was chewing gum when he died and the gum fell from his mouth when he hit the floor.The gum was chewed by another investigator or family member and was left on the floor after the death
  A cut on the decedent’s forehead above the left eye     
  A broken whiskey bottle     
  An opened window next to the decedent during a snow storm     
  A freshly brewed pot of coffee     
  Missing wallet and ID when blue jeans worn by the decedent clearly had rectangular “fade marks” on rear pocket.     
  Decedent was not discovered for 2 weeks or more, dogs in the house are healthy and well fed.       

Part C: 

Demonstrate knowledge of Non-Scientific Identification: Tattoos

On the Internet, find one readable and clear image of a tattoo which would be unique for identification of a dead person. Remember, many tattoos are from stock templates, so a unique design, or location on the body, is most helpful. Once a clear image is found, paste the image below, include your reference, and answer the following questions.

   Paste image of unique tattoo here                        
What makes this tattoo unique for identification when compared to the many tattoos on people today?    

Part D:

 Demonstrate Knowledge of Non-Scientific Identification: Other

On the Internet, find one readable and clear image of a non-scientific identifier (scars, birthmarks, piercings, or anything unusual), which would be unique for identification of a dead person. Remember, many options are available, but the uniqueness must be considered when compared to the probability of other people having this characteristic. 

Note: Penile implants, hair transplants, a birth-mark shaped like a motorcycle, and extra fingers and toes are considered non-scientific identifiers.

Once a clear image is found, paste the image below, add your reference, and answer the following question.

   Paste image of unique non-scientific identifier here                                      
What makes this identifier unique for identification when compared to the possible similarities on other people?
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