Contribution of Forensic Anthropology to Identification Process in Croatia: Examples of Victims Recovered in Wells

Šlaus, Mario and Strinović, Davor and Petrovečki, Vedrana and Vyroubal, Vlasta (2007) Contribution of Forensic Anthropology to Identification Process in Croatia: Examples of Victims Recovered in Wells. Croatian medical journal, 48 (4). pp. 503-512. ISSN 0353-9504 (Print) 1332-8166 (Electronic)

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Abstract

AIM: To describe the contribution of forensic anthropology to the recovery, analysis, and identification of victims from the 1991-1995 war in Croatia recovered in wells. ----- METHODS: From 1996 to the present, human remains of a total of 61 individuals have been recovered from 13 wells. Six wells contained the remains of a single individual, one well contained the remains of 2 individuals, and 6 wells contained the remains 3 or more individuals. The majority of wells, containing 90.2% (55/61) of recovered individuals, were located within a 4 km radius of the Croatian-Serbian border. ----- RESULTS: Forensic anthropologists re-individualized 26/61 (42.6%) individuals out of skeletonized and commingled remains, provided basic biological data on sex, age-at-death, and stature in all identifications (n=37), as well as established positive identification by recognizing unique skeletal features (antemortem fractures and skeletal evidence of antemortem surgical interventions) in 3/37 (8.1%) cases. Trauma analyses carried out by forensic anthropologists contributed to the determination of the cause of death in 38/61 (62.3%) individuals and to the probable cause of death in an additional 18/61 (29.5%) individuals. The most frequent (27/38, 71.0%) type of trauma causing death in individuals recovered from wells was a single gunshot wound. ----- CONCLUSION: Forensic anthropologists, collaborating closely with forensic pathologists, forensic odontologists, forensic radiologists, criminologists, and molecular biologists contributed significantly to trauma analysis and identification of war victims recovered from wells.

Abstract in Croatian

Cilj: Opisati doprinos forenzičke antropologije iskapanju, analizi i identifikaciji žrtava Domovinskog rata pronađenih u bunarima. ----- Postupci: Od 1996 do danas u 13 bunara pronađeni su posmrtni ostatci 61 osobe. U 6 bunara pronađeni su ostatci jedne osobe, u 1 bunaru ostatci dvije osobe, a u 6 bunara ostatci 3 ili više osoba. Većina bunara, u kojima je pronađeno 90,2% (55/61) žrtava, nalazi se unutar radijusa od 4 km od hrvatsko-srpske granice. ----- Rezultati: Forenzički antropolozi re-individualizirali su 26/61 (42,6%) osoba iz skeletoniziranih i pomiješanih ostataka, pružili osnovne biološke podatke o spolu, godinama u trenutku smrti i visini žrtava (n=37), i ostvarili pozitivnu identifikaciju prepoznavanjem jedinstvenih obilježja na kosturu (predsmrtni lomovi i dokazi o kirurškim zahvatima) u 3/37 (8,1%) slučaja. Analiza traume koji su napravili forenzički antropolozi pomogla je utvrđivanju uzroka smrti u 38/61 (62,3%) osoba i mogućeg uzroka smrti u 18/61 (29,5%) osoba. Najčešća trauma koja je bila uzrok smrti (27/38, 71,0%) u žrtava pronađenih u bunarima bila je jedna prostrijelna rana iz vatrenog oružja. ----- Zaključak: Forenzički antroplozi u bliskoj suradnji s forenzičkim odontolozima, forenzičkim patolozima, kriminolozima, i molekularnim biolozima znatno su pridonijeli analizi trauma i identifikaciji ratnih žrtava pronađenih u bunarima.

Item Type: Article
MeSH: Forensic Anthropology ; War ; Croatia ; Humans
Departments: Katedra za sudsku medicinu
Depositing User: Lea Škorić
Status: Published
Creators:
CreatorsEmail
Šlaus, MarioUNSPECIFIED
Strinović, DavorUNSPECIFIED
Petrovečki, VedranaUNSPECIFIED
Vyroubal, VlastaUNSPECIFIED
Date: August 2007
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 16:10
Subjects: /
Related URLs:
    URI: http://medlib.mef.hr/id/eprint/282

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