Volume 48, Issue 4 (July 2003)
An Esoteric Technique Useful in the Identification of Unidentified Remains from the Examination of Faded, Illegible Hospital Identification Wristbands
A technique routinely used in the examination of questioned documents has been found to be of assistance when employed in the examination of faded and/or partially legible hospital identification wristbands found with unidentified remains (UIDs). A non-destructive test used predominately by forensic document examiners in the analysis of writing inks, handwritten alterations, and obliterations has proven useful throughout the years when confronted with this unusual type of documentary evidence. This discussion paper was prompted by the Tri-State Crematory disaster, Walker County, Georgia, from a request by investigators as to whether or not any information could be obtained from the examination of faded hospital identification wristbands where no information was readily discernable. Subsequent analysis by non-destructive infrared inspection, a standard technique used in the examination of questioned documents, proved useful in assisting with the identification of unidentified skeletal remains.