Identification of a suicide victim by facial reconstruction

Phillips V.M. ; Rosendorff S. ; Scholtz H.J. (1996)


Facial reconstruction is used in an attempt to identify an individual by a three dimensional representation of the facial features using the skull as the foundation after metrical and non-metrical analysis to determine age, race and gender. The skeletonized remains of a female who was reported missing six years previously were recovered from the summit of Table Mountain in Cape Town. Some personal possessions were also recovered, one of which was a shark tooth pendant which the victim's parents recognized. Although there were distinctive dental features, the antemortem dental records had been lost during the initial investigation which therefore precluded identification by this means. However, positive identification was required and facial reconstruction on the skull was undertaken which the parents duly identified. The method used for facial reconstruction is described.

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