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Forensic vital to uncover unidentified bodies

Amidst unavailable data related to unclaimed and unidentified bodies buried somewhere, with their loved ones either non-existent or unaware of their passing, little is known about the potential of forensic science in uncovering the mystery.

Although unclaimed bodies are distinct from unidentified bodies, with the former, often, quite a bit of information is known but the later nothing is known, a harder task lies in uncovering their true identity.

The law states that such bodies will be preserved in morgues for 21 days waiting for family members, friends, or community members who would want to claim them and organise their funeral or burial. Besides, people have rights to bury and mourn their loved ones, but without proper identification, it’s hard to conduct such rituals.

However, advancement of technology can potentially uncover such identification mysteries behind unclaimed and unidentified bodies no matter its status.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Citizen, a forensic anthropologist Wilson Jilala confirms that the biological profile of unclaimed or unidentified human remains plays a critical role when it comes to uncovering the identity.

“Forensic science – including the use of fingerprints, dental records, and DNA analysis in identifying human remains, can help families to not only establish fates of their missing relatives, but also their remains can be identified and returned to them for proper burial,” he explained.


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