The identification of skeletonized corpses or skeletal remains, in forensic medicine practice, as well as being an imperative to human rights respect, has particular relevance and significance in psycho-social terms. If, on one hand, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights advises identification before all body inhumations, on the other hand, returning the identity to an unidentified corpse and ... [Show full abstract] subsequent return of the corpse to his family is, itself, the instrument which will allow for the possibility of beginning the family grieving.
Forensic anthropology is the first approach towards the identification of unknown skeletonized corpses, which may lead to positive identification of the body or, sometimes, cannot go further than establish some pointers that will lead to further attempt to genetic identification.
Here we report two cases of two dead bodies, unidentified, that were presented to the National Institute of Legal Medicine (INML), with instructions, from the prosecutors, to be determined possible cause and circumstances of death and achieve to individual identification.
Forensic anthropology, allowed, in both cases, some indications that pointed to alleged missing individuals.
Genetic study of skeletonized bodies and family members of the alleged missing individuals has turned possible, in one case, the positive identification. For one of the corpses, most likely due to the weather conditions to which he was exposed for a very considerable period, it was not possible to achieve to positive identification. However, in the latter case, we believe that the use of mitochondrial DNA study may help to settle the case with positive identification of the corps.