Our goal is to discuss the new technologies and procedures that we have developed for the discovery and recovery of buried victims. We argue that forensic investigations of clandestine graves must be grounded in the most advanced scientific methods and evidence-collection techniques available. A structured program that includes an interdisciplinary team of forensic scientists and law enforcement experts is proposed to facilitate all aspects of the investigative and legal process. Such issues are of great relevance because most legal jurisdictions have a number of cases each year and present operating procedures are not standardized. There is a clear need for national dialog to improve our investigative efforts and insure best practices in forensic science across legal jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies.
In this article, we summarize our research efforts related to detection of clandestine graves and we propose protocols for future forensic investigative endeavors. Our discussion is based on practical experience and case studies of both new and cold case...