What is forensic human identification?
Forensic literally means ‘pertaining to the court’, and human identification is the scientific evaluation of features or characteristics person in order to provide information to help identify a person. Taken together, forensic human identification is the evaluation of physical or behavioural traits for medico-legal purposes, which are commonly to assist police to reduce a suspect pool or missing person’s list. Information can include biological characteristics such as sex, age, and height, as well as individuating features such as a DNA profile, a fingerprint, or a dental profile.
There are many different sub-disciplines of forensic human identification, each focussed on analysing and interpreting discrete types of evidence, which is used by investigators to help identify offenders or name deceased persons. One of which is forensic anthropology (‘anthropology’ translates as ‘the study of man’).