01-01-2006, 06:11 PM #1Former member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
GA - Meet GBI's Cold Case Anthropologist
GBI Hopes to ID Boxes of Remains
ATLANTA (AP)- Some 200 plain cardboard boxes are stacked neatly on metal shelves in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's headquarters. Each holds what remains of a human being, some dating back to 1969.
Rick Snow, a GBI forensic anthropologist, was hired two years ago to analyze and categorize the bones to ID the dead. It's part of the agency's effort to clean up more than 1 million pieces of evidence, said Vernon Keenan, GBI director.
While the GBI has returned some evidence to local law enforcement agencies, there was no formal plan on dealing with the unidentified remains.
The GBI has since secured an $87,390 federal grant to help fund the effort to go through each box and enter information about their contents into a database.
"No one paid much attention to them until the advent of DNA technology," said Dr. Mark Koponen, the GBI's deputy chief medical examiner. "So that sort of changed the ballgame."
The grant helped pay Snow's salary for a year and financed a computer, a Global Position System unit, a digital camera and other tools.
He needs the equipment to help catalogue the more than 20 unidentified bodies found in Georgia each year. Many are found during the fall hunting season, when hunters scouring the woods stumble upon skeletal remains. Pets, construction workers, timber workers and curious children also occasionally find the bones.
Most can be identified within 12 months, but the rest are stored in a supply closet in the GBI's crime lab.
Last week, investigators used the information to solve a 20-year-old missing persons case.
Stephen Daniel was 27 when he disappeared in January 1985. In September 1996, authorities found a skeleton in a Stockbridge rock quarry. Snow sent the remains to a lab to extract a DNA sample, which matched with a swab taken from Daniel's mother.
Investigators concluded that Daniel apparently fell into the quarry, though it's not clear why.
"It is gratifying to the GBI when we can identify and return remains to family members," Keenan said. "We hope that by using the latest technology in our identification efforts, we will have other success stories as this project continues."
Note: I searched for a site for Stephen Daniel, or the mention of the remains and didn't find either with a google search.
Kudos to Georgia though for getting the grant and taking care of these people!
01-02-2006, 01:46 AM #2
And kudos to the GBI for not just cremating the remains in order to dispose of them. So many of the agencies have done that, and it leaves those people with almost no chance of ever being identified, no chance for those families to even know. It should be illegal for any unidentified remains to be cremated, at least unless samles of DNA were taken to leave open the possibility of future matches.Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........
Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?
"Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight
01-02-2006, 02:01 AM #3Former member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
I agree Mysterview! What may have seemed like neglect in the past, now almost seems kind! Hopefully some of the remains will allow DNA extraction and an ID will be made.
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