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Abstract

Most Law Enforcement and Disaster Management Agencies throughout the world spend enormous resources to identify human remains and dead bodies after wars, mass disasters and political unrest. In certain legal circumstances such as civil paternity cases and unclaimed human cadavers, biological samples may be collected from living relatives and exhumed human remains, as well as mortal remains for DNA profiling purposes. DNA analysis is considered the best method of identification in most of these cases. Biological materials often used in identifying exhumed remains using DNA are bone, teeth and nail due to their ability to withstand rapid decomposition. DNA analysis from skeletal remains has developed rapidly since its inception in the late 1980s. It seeks to identify the sources of biological evidence, including associations of persons through kinship, and excluding persons mistakenly linked to some evidence. The most widely used genetic markers for forensic DNA typing in most crime laboratories are autosomal short tandem repeat (STR) loci, and these have been used widely for the identification of human remains as well as in relationship testing, such as paternity testing and family reconstructions. We report on how highly charred human remains were genetically identified after the victim, a female, was reported missing in 2016. Intelligence gathered by Police fourteen months later resulted in the discovery of burnt and buried skeletal remains at a location about 42Km away from her home. Crime scene investigators sampled bones for forensic DNA Analysis since there was no soft tissue. Close relatives of the missing female (alleged son, and alleged mother) were invited for buccal swab sampling for comparative DNA analysis to determine the identity of the human remains.

Authors

Afrifah Kofi Adjapong;  Badu-Boateng Alexander;  Antwi-Akomeah Samuel;  Motey Eva Emefa;  Abban Edward Kofi;  Sampene Paul Poku;  Owusu-Afriyie Osei;  Donkor Augustine

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