Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

5-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Justice Administration

Committee Chair

Keeling, Deborah Griffith

Subject

Forensic anthropology--Methodology; Crime scene searches--Methodology

Abstract

As forensic evidence has come to be of increasing importance in the courtroom, standards and practices regarding documentation, collection, and preservation of evidence have also become increasingly necessary. This study examines forensic anthropological field methods and their incorporation into crime scene investigation. Prior research suggests that incorporation could increase evidence recovery, result in better preservation of evidence, and enhance chain of custody. Examination of baseline survey data and a specific cross-regional analysis seeks to discover how/if these methods are being utilized within crime scene investigation. Baseline results are compared with follow-up interviews from a small sample of agencies to examine relationships between criminal investigation and forensic anthropology. Discussion is focused on how the disciplines could be incorporated, and provides recommendations for training and education in interdisciplinary methods. Suggestions are made for further studies in this area, particularly on the standards and best practices currently utilized by forensic investigation units.

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