View Full Version : Identifying a body

02-07-2006, 07:32 PM
Does anyone know if it's possible for a person to be unidentifiable?

By that I mean, is it possible for an adult to never have had their fingerprints put on file somewhere (if they didn't join the Military, never were arrested).

If the person has no immediate next of kin who reports them missing.

I'm also thinking you couldn't identify them by dental unless that person HAS been reported as a missing person and they could locate his dental records.

Am I correct in assuming that without the above, the Police might find it next to impossible to identify someone and just call the John Doe?

02-07-2006, 07:37 PM
Sure. I just read a book about 'The Body Farm' at the University of Tennessee. They mention just these scenarios. There are plenty of people who have never been fingerprinted and never had any dental care to compare records. Reported or no, given the state of decomposition and lack of leads, many bodies go unclaimed and unidentified.

If you need a John Doe to stay a John Doe, it should be easy to explain away.

02-10-2006, 01:52 AM
I second Perks.

Most people have never been in the military, employed by the government, or arrested--the things that put your prints in the system. Women, the mentally-ill and/or drug- or alcohol-dependent homeless, and young people are especially likely to be 'off the radar.'

Dental records are only useful if they have an idea who the decedent is--then they can compare the teeth to that person's dental records. But the things your dentist knows about your teeth are not in any database.

Maryn, who was printed when she worked for a municipal swimming pool