A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Detection of Clandestine Graves
Davenport, G. C., France, D. L., Griffin, T. J.,
Swanburg, J. G., Lindemann, J. W., Tranunell, V.,
Armbrust, C. T., Kondrateiff, B., Nelson, A., Castellano,
K., and Hopkins, D., "A Multidisciplinary Approach to
the Detection of Clandestine Graves," Journal of
Forensic Sciences, JFSCA. VOL. 37, NO. 6, November 1992,
team that is comprised of professionals from industry,
academia, and law enforcement who are studying methods
to locate clandestine graves has been formed in
Colorado. This article describes this team, research
conducted, and preliminary results directed toward
identifying the most effective means of locating buried
KEYWORDS: forensic science,
In 1986, Colorado law enforcement
officials were presented with the following situation:
approximately a dozen bodies were according to rumor and
stated by an informant, buried over several square
kilometers on a large ranch on the eastern Colorado
plains. These bodies were allegedly interred over the
course of several years. How could law enforcement best
approach the problem of location, evaluation, and
exhumation of a clandestine grave in such a manner as to
preserve evidence and maximize its eventual use in a
court of law?
The above incident
was a catalyst for the formation of Project PIG ("Pigs
In Ground"), because of the limitations found with the
traditional methods in the location and excavation of
clandestine graves. Although a few graves were found on
the eastern Colorado ranch, it is believed that
additional bodies are still undiscovered, so the
techniques learned from the study described herein are
expected to produce additional discoveries if the search
on this ranch is reconvened. Project PIG continues to
evolve as a research project designed to investigate
methods and technologies that will prove even more
effective in locating clandestine graves and recovering
the contents. The study addresses the applicability of
techniques and methodologies in identifying, monitoring,
and where possible, quantifying the changes in the
clandestine grave system. This system as defined by the
authors is the dynamic interrelationship among the
grave, its contents and total surroundings (see glossary
for additional terms).
involves professionals from academia, industry, and law
enforcement assembled to share methodology, data, and
information. To this end, a resource bank of interested
specialists, has been established and continues to be
updated to facilitate intercommunication relating to
The purpose of this article is
to share the results of the
in-progress study being conducted in Colorado, and
to encourage similar studies in
other geographical areas and climates.
It is hoped that
this article will encourage other professionals to cross
those real or imagined barriers segregating their
specialized fields of interest, and to pool knowledge,
skills, and techniques in addressing the detection of
Only a few studies
listed in the literature concentrate on
multidisciplinary methods directed toward the location
of buried human remains. The Boyd [I ], Imaizumi ,
Andermac [31, and Bass and Birkby  (which also offers
the rationale behind proper excavation techniques)
studies offer overviews of some of the techniques also
used in the PIG research. The most recent publication
offering a comprehensive survey in search techniques is
by Killam .
Although no group
has undertaken a study of as many multidisciplinary
techniques as presented in the Project PIG research,
many articles address individual methods for locating
clandestine graves. Davenport et al., [6,7] discuss the
ways in which geoscientists work with law enforcement,
while Hoving  describes the use of a small ground
penetrating radar (GPR) unit for locating buried bodies.
Other studies have
used pigs to research individual aspects of clandestine
grave systems. Haglund et al. [9-1 1 ] and Haskel have
studied the scavenging and scatter patterns of pig and
human remains. Haskel in addition, researched decay
The role of insects
and other arthropods in the decay process of human
remains has been reviewed by Nuorteva  and Smith
. Studies using unembalmed cadavers or pigs have
elucidated a specific succession of arthropods and the
resulting decompositional process [14-19]. Rodriguez and
Bass  have addressed entomological methods and their
relationship to depth of burial and local climatic
conditions. Tolburst and Reed [2 1 ] present information
in the training and use of dogs for locating shallow
In an effort to
enhance a multidisciplinary approach, many techniques
for clandestine grave-site location are being applied at
a research area in Colorado. Preliminary results of the
study were reported at the May 1989 conference in Denver
of the Rocky Mountain Division of the International
Association for Identification.
Project PIG team consists of experts in crime scene and
laboratory analysis, aerial photography, thermal
imagery, geology and pedology, geophysics, geochemistry,
petrology, botany, entomology, wildlife biology,
scent-detection dogs, archaeology, and forensic
research site is located on the Highlands Ranch Law
Enforcement Training Facility in Douglas County,
Colorado, approximately 29 km (I 8 miles) south of
Denver. As part of a 0.47 square km (I 17 acre) law
enforcement training facility, it offers an area of
controlled access. The training facility occupies a
west-flowing drainage that feeds Plum Creek, a major
tributary of the South Platte River. Elevation at the
site averages 1829 meters (6000 feet) above sea level.
The research site is on undeveloped ranch land that
borders the western edge of Daniels Park, one of the
parks of the Denver Mountain Parks system.
Topographically the country surrounding the training
facility consists of gently rolling, brush-covered
uplands that change into partially developed badlands
and low mesa topography with increasing elevation. The
upper slopes of the badlands/mesa country support stands
To date, six pigs
have been buried at the research site. Their weights,
burial information, gravesite descriptions, and other
pertinent information are listed in Table 1.
Pigs are currently
being used for two reasons. At present, human cadavers
are unavailable for studies of this kind in Colorado.
Also, these pigs are similar to humans in their weight
(70 kg or 154 lb), their fat-to-muscle ratio, and in the
fact that their skin is not heavily haired. Pigs have
been considered to be biochemically and physiologically
similar enough to humans to be used in studies of
patterns and rates of decay and scavenging [22-251. Of
equal importance, dog handlers recognize that if a dog
can detect pig remains, it can also detect human
Prior to burial of
the first pig in September of 1988, baseline data
consisting of black and white aerial photographs,
geophysical measurements, and geological observations,
were acquired for the research site.
Near-field and far
field data gathering were performed prior to and after
burial. The definitions of near- and far-field are
dependent on the specific discipline, in that nearfield
refers to anything that is interacting, within the
burial system, while far-field is outside of the range
of influence of the burial system. For example,
measurements of soil gas may only be above background
levels within a few centimeters of a burial, whereas
arthropod activity related to a burial may cover a much
observations contemporaneous with burial for this study
include botany, entomology, geology/pedology, aerial
photography, geophysics, thermal imagery, soil gas,
scavenging patterns, and the use of cadaver-scenting,
dogs. Near-field observations contemporaneous with and
after burial include all of the above. A disturbance is
a physical disruption associated with burial processes.
A control site is undisturbed both at the surface and
subsurface, and therefore is remote from the burial
site. A calibration pit is a grave without an interred
pig, while a grave contains a pig. Back dirt is excess
soil deposited near the perimeter of the grave or
calibration pit. It is understood that there are
disturbances geographically close to the burial system
but still identified as far-field in that they are not
part of the burial process, for example roads, animal
burrows, building foundations, etc.
was performed far-field, in an attempt to identify
nearfield parameters from the air. Aerial photographic
surveying was performed on a periodic basis, consisting
of both visible spectrum color and black and white film.
A turbo-charged. Cessna 206 Aircraft containing two
Zeiss RMK/A 15-23 aerial cameras and one KA-2 12-inch
aerial camera were used. Film types used are Kodak
Aerocolor negative type 2445, Kodak infrared color film
type 2443, and Kodak black and white XX film type 2405.
This provides standard 9 inch by 9 inch stereophoto
The purpose of the
geologic investigation at the Project PIG site was to
define the geologic character of the site, to relate
this character to the individual burial sites, to
establish site recognition and evaluation parameters,
and to suggest lines of future geologic study and
and far-field studies were performed to establish the
geologic character and stratigraphic setting of the
project site. This involved definition of rock types,
establishment of the age relationships among the rock
types, and the evaluation of the effect of rock type on
subsequent soil formation. Far-field studies also
involved relating the physical character (geomorphology)
of the project area to the distribution of underlying
rock types (stratigraphy).
studies on the sites and the related far-field studies
focused on the definition of soil profiles at specific
burial sites, road cuts, and other excavations; the
relationship of these soil profiles to the parent rock
units; and how soil composition and character affects
the recovery of a soil profile to a "normal" state. All
burial sites have been and continue to be monitored and
photographed to document the recovery of the soil
As part of the
far-field study of vegetation, percent area cover for
bare soil (back dirt), litter, and herbaceous vegetation
was estimated, and a total species list was prepared
listing the plants found within the training facility.
Near-field study of
vegetation included listing the plants growing on each
grave, calibration pit and back dirt area. For the
near-field study, a 1 -meter by 0.5-meter rectangle of
PVC pipe was set at the approximate center of the test
plot (grave, control pit, etc.) and vegetation was
analyzed from within that test plot. Far-field study was
tested in the same manner, with the 1 meter by 0.5-meter
rectangle of PVC pipe set at various areas away from the
test plots. The areas for far-field study are not the
same for each test, but are taken approximately at
random within the training facility in the general
vicinity of the test plots. Frequency of species was
determined by counting the number of rectangular plots
on which a particular plant species was found. For
example, Wheat grass was found on four disturbed plots
(either a grave or calibration pit) and on two
undisturbed sites, while Sunsedge was found on no
disturbed sites and on three undisturbed sites.
After the pigs were
scavenged from Sites #1, 2, and 5, members of the team
decided to cover the unscavenged grave sites with heavy
chain link fencing to protect those graves from further
scavenging. Although vegetation on the grave is
potentially altered, some plant growth is allowed, and
the fencing can be easily removed for near-field
investigations such as geophysical surveying.
A control site was
established to examine the airborne and surface insects.
A BioQuip Malaise trap was erected to monitor aerial
dispersing insects, and was cleaned of all insects 1, 2,
4, 7, 12, 15, 25, and 30 days after pigs were buried. In
addition, this type of trap was erected directly over
burial site # I and cleaned of all insects at the above
schedule. Additionally, five pit traps were placed
around the site to sample surface dispersing arthropods,
and were monitored and cleaned at the above schedule.
geophysical methods were selected for evaluation at the
PIG site: magnetics (MAG), electromagnetics (EM) and
ground penetrating radar (GPR). The selection of these
methods was based on the direct experience of one of the
authors (Davenport) in implementing Geophysical
investigations on archaeological projects.
geophysical investigations entailed measuring total
field magnetic intensity, establishing background
conductivities and correlating subsurface stratigraphic
horizons with ground-penetrating radar all within the
Project PIG site.
studies included performing total field and gradient MAG
profiles, EM profiles in both quadrature and in-phase
components and GPR profiles over each burial site and
calibration pit. MAG surveys were performed on some of
the planned gravesites prior to interment of the pigs.
utilized has included a magnetometer with gradiometer
attachment, an EM-31 ground conductivity meter, and a
subsurface interfacing radar with digital data recording
and color display capabilities. The GPR system has been
evaluated using 30 megahertz (MHz), 300 MHz and 900 MHz
antennas. Self potential (SP) surveying and soil gas (SG)
techniques have also been used at the PIG site, but not
as extensively as the other geophysical methods. The SG
surveying was performed utilizing a Photovac 10570
Portable Gas Chromatograph, while the SP surveying was
done with a high impedance voltmeter and Tinker &, Rasor
electrodes. Geophysical surveying was performed in
either linear or grid arrays, with data collection
points spaced from I to 3 meters apart, except in the
case of GPR surveying, which produces a continuous
record of data collection. Geophysical arrays were
arranged to provide data over undisturbed areas, graves
and calibration pits.
The results of
geophysical surveys applied to the location and
delineation of clandestine graves have been encouraging.
Once suspected target areas are defined by other
techniques, geophysical surveys can be rapidly run using
Thermal imaging was
performed using a Xedar Model XS-420 Infrared Camera
System. Far-field thermal imagery, consisted of
obtaining high quality thermal images of steadystate and
dynamic scenes by panning the camera across the terrain
of the Project PIG site, whereas, near-field infomiation
was obtained by aiming the camera toward and fixing it
on each grave and calibration pit.
Soil gas sampling
of the far-field consisted of determining background
levels of methane and other volatile organic compounds
throughout Project PIG Site. Near-field studies were
performed by taking soil gas readings directly over
graves and calibration pits.
and near-field investigations become less defined for
work with scent detection dogs, as the dog defines those
fields itself. The ability of the scent detection dogs
to locate the buried pigs was tested using the following
standard search techniques. The dog was controlled on a
lead of usually 5 meter (I 5 feet) in length at all
times, and "worked" on a zig-zag pattern downwind of the
suspected area. The zig-zag pattern was maintained for
the dog until it alerted to a scent, at which point the
dog was allowed to work its own search pattern to the
in animal tracking and familiar with the habits of
indigenous species were responsible for identifying scat
and animal tracks. This information was used to develop
scavenging patterns related to the burial sites.
Patterns of bone modification related to scavenging were
studied. Standard far-field and near-field
investigations also become blurred in studies of
scavenging, as those terms are defined by where the
scavenged remains, scat, and the agents of scavenging
(coyotes, mountain lions, dogs, rodents, etc.) are
can be very useful in delineating grave sites. Grave
sites are revealed by a number of factors in the air
photographs taken at the research site. These factors
include changes in growth patterns and characteristics
of near-field vegetation, anomalous soil marks
associated with excavational boundaries, and settlement
of snow within some grave surface depressions. Low sun
angle oblique photographs tend to emphasize texture of
the around surface, and the associated long shadows can
reveal minute topographic relief.
At the research
site, short term (less than five years) geological
effects are enhanced by climatic conditions. The
climatic conditions that typify Colorado’s eastern
plains offer extreme consequences affecting both the
soil character and the rate and nature of soil recovery
over the graves. Climatic conditions during late spring,
summer and fall, and often into early winter tend to be
dry. The dry conditions are inhibiting plant
reestablishment over the graves and retard breakdown of
the disturbed clay-rich host soil horizon. Lack of
moisture largely neutralizes mechanical breakdown of
fill material that is characteristic of periodic
The moist climatic
conditions of winter, spring and early summer enhance
rapid breakdown of clay soils. Excavation boundaries
tend to become masked, fill material becomes generally
more fine-grained, and the compaction of the fill
material to the original surface grade is facilitated.
during dry climatic conditions persist with little
change throughout the dry season. Moisture enhances
grave site recovery and plant establishment.
The graves and
calibration pits are revegetating, though the mix of
plants on the disturbed areas is noticeably different
than on the undisturbed areas. Vegetation on the
disturbed sites depends on several factors, including
which plants are nearby and supplying seeds to the
disturbed ground and where in the landscape digging was
done (in drainage areas or in high ground). For example,
the pig at Site 6 was laid on top of the ground in a
drainage ditch, and dirt from another area was deposited
on top of it. Even though the pig was taken by
scavengers, the disturbed area is revegetating
differently than the rest of the sites, because the
seeds in the foreign soil are different from the
indigenous plants, and the drainage ditch provides extra
water for growth.
percent cover for each site does not differ, the species
covering each site are different. After three years, the
grave sites are revegetating similarly to the
calibration pits, and the presence of a decaying pig has
not significantly affected plant growth.
Vegetation analysis on the eight
sites shows that:
grave will destroy existing vegetation and set
succession in motion.
plants will be the first to grow on the
disturbed area. In lowland dry grass areas these
might include alyssum (Alyssum minus), Japanese
brome grass (Bromus jaconicus), and dandelion (Taraxacum
changes as the grave progresses through the
serial stages of succession.
Eventually the climax
vegetation for the area will grow on the graves
and calibration pits if they remain undisturbed.
For low-land dry grass areas this includes blue
grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis), other grasses
and many wild flowers. The disturbed area (grave
or calibration pit) will look different from the
surrounding area for many years (exceeding so
far, the duration of this study).
Knowledge of the plants of
an area can supply clues to the discovery of an
area, particularly where the vegetation is
largely otherwise undisturbed.
There was no
visible entomological indication of the buried pig, such
as evidence of surface stains from saponification/liquification
ca. 30 days after burial. The blowfly, Calliphora
vomitoria was trapped by the Malaise trap within 24h or
burial, and Phonnia regina arrived 48 h after burial. By
day 15, significant numbers (P = <0.05) of blowflies
were trapped over the burial site as compared with
control sites. No arthropods typically considered to be
forensic indicators were trapped by the pit traps.
In the case of MAG
and EM surveys data are gathered and presented in the
field via use of a portable computer. These data can be
presented in the form of contour maps or as individual
profiles. The GPR data are acquired in real time format,
that is, the results are immediately available to
geophysicists in the field. Work at the PIG site has
demonstrated that SP surveying has very limited
application in delineating clandestine graves at this
Monitoring with MAG
surveys after interment demonstrates that MAG surveys
can be used at this site to detect areas of excavation,
even when metallics are not present. This effect, a MAG
anomaly, appears to be directly related to a
reorientation of magnetic soil particles upon
backfilling the graves. EM surveys have proven more
useful than MAG as the ground conductivity changes over
graves due to the increased porosity of the backfill
materials. EM surveys can be utilized to determine
changes in ground conductivity and to detect the
presence of ferrous and nonferrous metallics. GPR
surveys offer the investigator the most useful tool to
delineate possible graves. Soil changes and/ or
excavation patterns can be readily identified by trained
GPR operators. The addition of color monitoring to the
normally black and white monitoring capabilities of the
GPR systems allows investigators to easily identify
changes in soil horizons.
Perhaps the most
-important result of the geophysical surveying at the
PIG site has been the realization of the importance of
constructing a calibration site to test any geophysical
method prior to application on an actual investigation.
Any information concerning the type and/or construction
of the disposal facility should be used to construct a
similar, albeit empty, facility near the actual area to
be investigated. The geophysicists can utilize this
"calibration" site to determine the following:
Response of different
Type and characteristics of
the geophysical signal
Profile and data station
The soil gas
surveying performed at the research site holds promise
of providing a useful, albeit labor intensive, technique
to locate graves. Organic gases were detected within
three meters of two of the grave sites; however, the
investigators had the privilege of knowing in advance
the locations of these sites. Soil gas surveying is best
in soils with a low clay content (so as not to clog the
probes) and over unfrozen ground.
The successful use
of dogs is affected most significantly by weather
conditions. There is a decrease in a dog’s scenting
ability at temperatures above 29°C (85°F). Excessive
heat causes some discomfort to the dog and this may
affect the dog’s ability to locate a scent. When the
temperature is extremely high the dog will still locate
the scent; however in most cases, it will need to be
within approximately a meter of the source. Even if the
temperature is high, the results will improve if the
ground is moist. Extremely low temperatures also limit
the dog’s ability to detect the scent from a distance,
especially if the source is buried. If the source is
buried in snow with temperatures allowing only minimal
melting, the dog must be directly over the source to
locate it. If the temperature is warm enough to allow
for significant melting the dog can locate the source
from a greater distance.
factors affecting the dog’s work include air humidity,
ground moisture and windspeed. Humidity seems to
intensity the dog’s ability to detect the source at a
distance. The ground should be fairly moist, ideally to
the depth of the source, or so dry that desiccation
cracks intercept the source (Major Glen Rimbey, New
Mexico State Penitentiary, personal communication). If
no wind is present, the dog will have difficulty
detecting a scent except from immediately above the
Based on experience
at the research and other sites, the optimal conditions
for the successful use of cadaver dogs includes
temperatures between 4 and 16°C (40° to 60°F), 20% or
higher humidity, very moist ground, and windspeed of at
least 8 km (5 miles) per hour (there is no upper limit
to windspeed. though the scent cone becomes narrower
with higher windspeeds).
Animal tracks or
scat identified in the research area include dog,
coyote, fox, rabbit, deer, elk, skunk. raccoon, horse,
cattle, porcupine, woodrat, and mouse.
systematic searches within I -km radius of the site have
recovered bones of deer, cattle, horses" canids, and
rabbits. No large pig bones were found. A fragment of
pig scapula was found within the I -km radius. Many
fresh bone chips were found around Site 1, indicating
scavenging. Several incisors, as well as bone chips were
found around Site 2. Pig hair was found on the surface
of Site 5 and on the grave sides of Site I. Pig hair and
fresh bone chips were found in coyote scat near burial
Site 1. The most likely scavenging agent in this area is
coyotes, and the modifications of recovered bone are
consistent with those reported for canids. The absence
of large bones within the I km search radius suggests
that the remains were carried a greater distance than
the approximately 0.2 km maximum reported by Haglund et
al., though as Haglund mentions (personal
communication), the ranges of coyotes vary considerably
with differences in terrain and vegetation. Our research
site provides an opportunity to study the scavenging
distance in a relative open environment, to supplement
Haglund’s study in a heavily forested environment.
Table 2 summarizes the experiences gained by
research done at the known pig burials. Based upon what
it has learned at the site, the Project PIG team has
applied these techniques to suspected criminal burial
It is imperative
that an agency requesting assistance in locating buried
human remains consult specialists in each of the above
disciplines to determine which of the techniques are
applicable to the specific crime scene. In the
multidisciplinary approach reported here, it is
important to follow a progression from completely
nondestructive to increasingly invasive procedures such
that evidence collection is optimized while evidence
disturbance is minimized.
Although there are
many authors of this article, there are many other
individuals involved with the PIG team without whose
contributions neither this article nor the research
would be possible. These participants and their areas of
specialization are listed below. If you wish to contact
these researchers, please notify the senior author.
Jane Bock. Ph.D.
(botany): David Norris. Ph.D. (botany): Don Heimmer,
M.S. (geochemistry); Edward Killam, M.A. (private
investigator); Theodore P. Paster, Ph.D.
(petrography-geology); Hans Bucher. M.S.E.E. (thermal
imagery); Jim Grady, Ph.D. (archaeology. aerial
photography); Steve Ireland, M.A. (archaeology); Bill
Youngblood (aerial photography);TitnDeignan. B.S.
In addition, our
thanks go to William Hasilund, Ph.D., King County
Medical Examiner’s Office in Seattle, Wash., for reading
and providing insightful comments. The members of this
project also wish to thank the Arapahoe and Douglas
County Sheriffs’ Departments for the use of the training
facility on which the research of Project PIG is
comments about this article or about specific aspects of
the research can be addressed initially to the senior
author, who will direct requests for information. In
addition, we are formulating a data bank of interested
individuals, therefore if you wish additional
information about setting up a group of this type in
your area, please contact one of the following
participants. We will help you -contact other
researchers or law enforcement personnel in your area.
Jack G. Swanburg,
Arapahoe County Sheriffs Department, 5686 S. Court
Place, Littleton, CO 80120. (303) 7954772-. or
Colorado Bureau of Investigation. 690 Kipling. Denver.
Table 2 - Advantages and Disadvantages of methods used at
Least destructive. Provides
good overall characterization of a site; access,
culture, drainage, topography. Large area
covered. Preburial photos may be available from
variety of sources.
Best results with large
film format (scale of readily available
photography maybe too small). May need to be
performed at different times of growing season.
Natural (trees, etc.) and man-made (power lines,
etc.) may interfere with interpretation.
Requires trained person for interpretation. May
be moisture dependant.
Noninstrusive if cores not taken. Determination
of site stratification through core sample.
"Real-time" on-site information about ground
Intrusive if core samples
taken. Entire search area should be viewed.
Can be performed with photographs and samples
from area. Can be performed years later.
Similar succession pattern
for any distrubance within ecosystem: not
limited to burial.
Nonintrusive. Equipment easily obtained. Rapid
coverage of large area. Works over snow, fresh,
Only for ferrous material.
Target could be missed if search grid too large.
Data not in "real-time". Values must be plotted
and should be controurd. Magnetic interferences
(natural, and man-made) confuse readings.
Nonintrusive. Rapid coverage of large area.
Equipment relatively easily obtained. For
ferrous/nonferrous materials. Records
conductivity. Works over/through snow.
Subject to cultural
(fences, etc.) interferences. Target could be
missed if search grid too large. Difficult in
rough terrain. Data not in "real-time", values
must be plotted and should be contoured.
Nonintrusive. Fairly rapid coverage of large
area. "Real-time" display. Works over/through
snow, fresh water.
difficult to obtain. Most units require
moderatley smooth & level terrain.
Geophysics, Self Potential
Equipment easily obtained.
Intrusive. No worthwhile
information from our research.
"Real-time" information. Theoretically sound.
Intrusive. Must be
positioned relatively close to burial. Site
soil, ground moisture, climate, depth of probe
critical. Detection of decomposition product(s)
time and temperature dependent.
Geophysics, Metal Detector
Nonintrusive. Equipment easily obtained.
Limited depth capability,
detects only metal (ferrous/nonferrous) objects,
presumes metal objects on or with body. Field
applications often improperly conducted.
Nondestructive. Can examine
Requires little or no wind.
Requires special equipment and knowledgeable
Proven effective even 170 years after burial.
Effective over water.
Most effective when air,
ground moist. Dog may be trained for other uses
and not properly trained for this type of work;
handler may overstate qualifications.
Excellent for information
concerning scavenging cases and outdoor
Ability to recognize animal
scavenging may be altered by climatic
conditions. Tracking easiest in snow, mud, soft
sand or dust.
Experienced in mapping,
data collection, preservation of information
from excavated materials, and is therefore
extremely valuable for building court cases.
Both destructive and
intrusive. Though data collection can be
modified to meet time demands, can be relatively
Crime scene experience.
Access to statements and information from
victims, witnesses, suspects. Familiar with
evidence recovery, legal concerns, court
testimony. Contacts with other law enforcement
agencies for similar M.O. checks.
 Bovd R.M., "Buried Body Cases".
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 1979, pp
 Imaizumi, M., "Locating Buried
Bodies", FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August
 McLaughlin, J.E., "The
Detection of Buried Bodies." Study of anermac, 2626 Live
Oak Hiway, Yuba City, CA 95991, 1974.
 Bass, W.M., and Birkby, W.H.,
"Exhumation: The Method Could Make the Difference,"
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, July 1978, pp.6-11.
 Killam, E.W., The Detection
of Human Remains, Charles C Thomas, Springfield,
 Davenport, G.
C., Griffin T. J., Lindemann. J. W., and Heinnner, D.,
"Geoscientists and Law Enforcement Professionals work,
Together in Colorado," Geotimes, July 1990, pp.
 Davenport, G.
C., Lindemann, J. W., Griffin. T. J., and Borowski. J.
E.. "Geotechnical Applications 3: Crime Scene
Investigation Techniques," Geophysics: Leading Edge
of exploration, Vol. 7, No. 8, 1988, pp. 64-66.
 Hoving, G. L.,
"Buried Body Search Technology," Identification News,
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