skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 148156 Find in a Library
Title: SEM Analysis of Incinerated Teeth as an Aid to Positive Identification
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:39  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:557-565
Author(s): S I Fairgrieve
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Tooth crown and root fragments from a crime scene in which the body was purposefully cremated, crushed, and scattered were analyzed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to aid the victim identification process.
Abstract: The case occurred in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The Sudbury Regional Police Service contacted the author to examine an area of charred material discovered in and around a stone block and concrete fire pit behind a suburban home. The police had responded to inquiries by family and coworkers regarding the whereabouts of a 48-year-old man who had not been seen for several weeks. The missing man's duties as a traveling dental equipment salesperson explained why no inquiries were made sooner. The author discovered bone and tooth fragments. The SEM was used to confirm the presence of parallel striations in tooth enamel and dentine as a means of determining past dental restoration. Incinerated tooth fragments of determined type and position received SEM analysis and were determined to have had previous dental work that matched the earlier dental records of the missing person. Upon being confronted with the evidence, the suspect confirmed the identity and confessed to intentionally cremating the body. Photographs and 4 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Dental analysis; Electron microscopy; Forensic pathology; Victim identification
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.