Recovery of Human Remains in a Fatal Fire Setting using Archaeological Methods

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Authors
  1. Olson, G.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Security Science, Ottawa ONT (CAN);Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall, Barrie Ont (CAN)
Abstract
The aim of this study is to assist fire investigators in understanding the value of the application of archaeological recovery methods at fatal fire scenes. It also is intended to provide insight into the essential skills utilized in these methods. The anticipated outcome can be to increase the amount of human remains recovered along with more associated artifacts surrounding the death and, thereby, improve the quantity and quality of critical evidence. It is anticipated that this study will have a positive impact within the forensic community in the investigation of fire fatalities. There is an understandable tendency for those involved in fire settings to become overwhelmed at the magnitude and destruction of the scene itself. Fire investigations are often complex and difficult to interpret, and, at fires where the loss is large, there is a potential problem that the investigator may become overpowered, fixated or pre-occupied, and, therefore, fail to take the necessary judicious steps. To avoid these serious situations, it is imperative to develop an analytical and systematic approach to scene investigation.

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Keywords
Fire;Fatality;Arson;Fire Investigation;Criminal Investigation;Human Remains;Archaeological Methods
Report Number
DRDC-CSS-CR-2009-03 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2009
Number of Pages
41
DSTKIM No
CA033232
CANDIS No
532523
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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