Fingerprint Technology Helps Identify the Dead
Researchers at Britain’s University of Leicester, working with Leicestershire Constabulary and Hamburg University’s Institute of Legal Medicine, have found that handheld devices used to fingerprint drivers can also be used to identify the dead.
The capability to fingerprint the dead using a handheld, mobile wireless device in conjunction with a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) device would be of particular benefit in catastrophic events that result in mass casualties.
“In mass fatality investigations, there is a shift of emphasis of the investigative process towards gathering information for the identification of the deceased,” said Professor Guy Rutty of the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit at the University of Leicester. “Fingerprinting is usually undertaken by scene-of-crime or fingerprint officers at the mortuary, and although the recovery of fingerprints is possible at the scene of death, as with mortuary recovery, to date handheld real-time, on-site analysis [near-patient testing] is not available to investigators.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Medical Devices and Surgical Technology Week (12/24/06); P. 122.