TECHNICAL NOTE GENERAL; CRIMINALISTICS
Ear Identification: A Pilot Study
Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 1010–1014, July 2011
How to Cite
Cameriere, R., DeAngelis, D. and Ferrante, L. (2011), Ear Identification: A Pilot Study. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: 1010–1014. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01778.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
- Received 19 April 2009; and in revised form 4 Jan. 2010; accepted 15 Feb. 2010.
- forensic science;
- code number;
- multivariate beta distribution
Abstract: Although several papers have recently been devoted to establishing the validity of identification using the ear, this part of the human body still remains underexploited in forensic science. The perfect overlap of two images of the same ear is not really possible, but photographs of the ears as a reliable means of inferring the identity of an individual are poorly treated in the literature. In this study, we illustrate a simple, reproducible method, which divides the photograph of an ear into four parts—helix, antihelix, concha, and lobe—by means of a suitable grid of four straight lines. Although the division does not follow exact anatomical features, their edges do join anatomical points which are more easily identifiable. Measurement of certain areas of these parts can be combined to produce a code allowing personal identification. This method produces false-positive identifications of <0.2%. Last, the repeatability and reproducibility aspects of the method are tested.