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Stabel Isotope Analysis: Bone and Teeth

  1. Wolfram Meier-Augenstein1,
  2. Helen F Kemp2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061589.fsa1042

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

How to Cite

Meier-Augenstein, W. and Kemp, H. F. 2012. Stabel Isotope Analysis: Bone and Teeth. Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, UK

  2. 2

    Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

Abstract

In most of the different body deposition scenarios but for cremation, bone and teeth are typically the human remains that remain intact the longest after death has occurred. In the absence of any distinguishing features or other evidence that could help with positive victim identification, stable isotope profiles or signatures can provide useful information about a person's diet and geographic life trajectory, which can bring focus to an investigation involving unidentified victims of serious crime or mass disasters. No matter what the case circumstance, victim identification is of paramount importance to provide closure for next of kin and to help dealing with legal processes ensuing from the death of a person. In cases of serious crime, identification of the victim is a major stepping stone toward identifying the perpetrator/s.

Keywords:

  • bioapatite;
  • bone;
  • carbonate;
  • collagen;
  • diet;
  • forensic intelligence;
  • geographic origin;
  • human provenance;
  • isotope ratio;
  • victim identification;
  • stable isotope profile