• forensic sciences;
  • DNA typing;
  • low copy number;
  • Y chromosome;
  • mitochondrial DNA;
  • short tandem repeat;
  • degraded skeletal remains

Abstract:  Low copy number (LCN) STR typing was successfully applied to four interesting cases during developmental validation of the approach for degraded skeletal remains. Specific questions were addressed in each case, with the acquisition of STR data largely serving as additional confirmatory or investigatory information in any specific situation, and not necessarily providing the definitive evidence to establish identity. The cases involve missing U.S. service members from World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. The variety of these cases, in terms of the questions addressed, the age of the remains, and the type of reference material available for comparison, demonstrates the broad utility of LCN STR typing in the identification of degraded skeletal remains from missing persons.