Bones: Center For Human Identification's Laboratory Of Forensic Anthropology | Department of Biological Sciences

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January 8, 2018

Bones: Center For Human Identification's Laboratory Of Forensic Anthropology

Founded in 1986, The Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology provides anthropological analysis of human remains for law enforcement and medicolegal agencies as well as other publicly supported entities such as public defenders and district attorneys. The laboratory is under the directorship of Harrell Gill-King, PhD, a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.

The Center for Human Identification was created in 2004, formally integrating the efforts of the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and the Laboratory for Molecular Identification. In addition to providing investigators with important information regarding cases, the anthropological data are used to refine molecular analyses within the CODIS system. This collaboration has created a unique resource for the identification of missing persons and unidentified remains, and is available to law enforcement agencies and medicolegal entities charged with the investigation of death across the nation. Additional support is also available to agencies through the Center's Forensic Services Unit.


Through funding provided by the National Institute of Justice and the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Center provides services to law enforcement, medicolegal agencies, and other publicly funded entities at no cost to the agency.

Services Offered

  • Location and recovery assistance. Please note that geographic considerations may limit this to advice or referrals to colleagues in your area.
  • Determination of forensic significance. Elimination of cases involving animal remains or human remains that are historical, archaeological, or otherwise not forensically significant.
  • Basic skeletal examinations. Examinations may include: Postmortem interval estimations, reconstruction of fragmentary remains, development of biological profiles, identification of pathologies or unique features which may aid in the identification of the decedent.
  • Skeletal trauma examinations. Identification, analysis, and documentation of traumatic injuries.
  • Positive identifications. Identifications based upon antemortem pathology, trauma, unique morphology, or medical intervention (supplemented when needed by DNA analyses provided by the Laboratory for Molecular Identification).
  • Expert testimony. Reports, depositions, and expert testimony supporting case analyses.
  • Training for medicolegal and law enforcement personnel. Workshops, lectures, and field schools designed for those investigating or recovering unidentified remains cases.
  • Dental identifications. Identifications by affiliated board certified forensic odontologists.
  • DNA sample submission. Selection and submission of appropriate samples to the Laboratory for Molecular Identification for analysis and inclusion in the CODIS National Missing Persons DNA Database.

For more information about this Program and Services: Contact Us