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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200415 Find in a Library
Title: Locator System Versus WinID2: Identifying Disaster Victims From Dental Remains
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:53  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2003  Pages:272-295
Author(s): Cheri Lewis; Les Leventhal
Editor(s): Alan L. McRoberts
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 24
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared the Locator System (LS), an alternative identification system to the WinID software program, both methods are used in identifying disaster victims from dental remains.
Abstract: Victim identification is a problem in mass disasters. In addition, there are problems with two of the most frequently used computer software programs used in the identification of victims from dental remains: WinID (Windows Identification) and CAPMI (Computer Assisted Postmortem Identification). In addressing the problem, an alternative identification system was created called the Locator System (LS) it can be used with or without existing software programs. This study compared victim identifications produced by three kinds of forensic teams. LS teams employed the LS; Win/S teams employed WinID2, version 2.3.7 with radiographs scanned into the computer; and Win teams employed WinID version 2.3.7, without radiographs scanned into the computer. There were 10 participants per condition with a total of 30 participants in the study. Parts of the study were conducted in five cities. The dental records of 100 persons provided the basic data for the study, providing for the creation of 100 simulated antemortem records. The three identification methods were compared to determine the most successful. Results indicate that the number of correct identifications made by LS and Win teams were similar with LS teams slightly ahead, the Win/S teams made the largest number of incorrect identifications, and the LS teams attempted more identifications than the other teams suggesting LS may be faster and more efficient than the other methods. Study implications include: (1) refinement of the WinID software would be beneficial; (2) the LS teams were provided with a description of the LS method but no practical information on how to implement it; and (3) the LS method is so simple that the instructions received by the participants for using the method consisted of only a one-page instruction sheet. In conclusion, for disasters of about 100 victims or less, LS appears to be the method of choice. References and appendices A-D
Main Term(s): Victim identification
Index Term(s): Dental analysis; Disaster procedures; Forensic medicine; Forensic sciences
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