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A novel method for sorting and reassociating commingled human remains using deviation analysis

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Date Published
12 pages

This study provides an innovative and novel method for sorting commingled human remains at the sacroiliac joint using deviation analyses. Virtual models were created at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Donated Skeletal Collection from 69 os coxae and 66 sacra using an EinScan-Pro 2× + Handheld Surface Scanner. The shape of the auricular surfaces was analyzed in Geomagic Wrap 2017, and the congruency of the two auricular surfaces was measured using a deviation analysis. ROC curves were performed on a reference sample composed of 200 commingled and non-commingled joint pairs to identify threshold values that could help sort the commingled remains. A validation sample of 225 pairs was subsequently analyzed to demonstrate the efficacy of this new method on a sample of unknown individuals. Statistical analyses demonstrated that the deviation analysis values from sacroiliac joints of commingled pairs were significantly larger than those from non-commingled individuals (p < 0.0001). Based on the selected threshold values, 98%–100% of pairs were correctly sorted and reassociated. This novel and objective technique improves upon previously subjective strategies for sorting commingled remains and, in the future, will be applied to additional joint surfaces. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023