Forensic Collection


As part of our agreement with the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI), the Laboratory of Human Osteology serves as a repository for the skeletonized remains of modern individuals of medicolegal interest. Some of these individuals have not been identified, are part of active investigations, or have legal actions pending. Many of these skeletons show evidence of sharp or blunt force trauma and/or gunshot wounds. These forensic examples are useful for teaching purposes, as well as for research. The laboratory has documentation of the initial examination of the body by biological anthropologists, as well as autopsy notes.

Recent research on the forensic collection has included animal scavenging of human remains, differential burning patterns, and the form of secondary fractures from gunshot wounds in the cranium. While access to the unsolved cases is restricted, researchers interested in using the forensic collection should submit a request following the Research Request Form for evaluation. Additionally, we house a documented osteological collection of over 300 individuals of various backgrounds available for research purposes.

To maintain the chain of evidence, we require that all researchers sign in to the laboratory repository when examining the collection. Photography of individuals in the forensic collection is limited, and permission will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Please indicate in your research request whether you will need to photograph the remains. Should you require any further information, please feel free to contact the Laboratory of Human Osteology.

We have resumed our Body Donation program. Please contact the lab if you have any questions.


Please check here for updates or call 505-277-3535 for more information.

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