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Facilitating Forensic Research in Multiple Fields Using a Unique Computed Tomography Dataset

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2021
3 pages

This article presents the New Mexico Decedent Image Database as a tool for researchers to make better, informed decisions about a decedent's health and lifestyle.


Medical examiner data has several advantageous qualities over vital statistics data, including health and lifestyle information about the deceased. A National Institute of Justice-supported research team from the University of New Mexico created a large postmortem image database to improve the health of the living. The New Mexico Decedent Image Database contains 85 terabytes of information including computed tomography scans of over 15,000 deceased individuals and 69 metadata tags related to lifestyle, health, and cause of death. The image repository, which is available for free to vetted users, is already being used for a wide variety of research and education projects, including studies to improve automobile safety and COVID-19 case studies for distance learning programs.