Application of the Stephan et al. Chest Radiograph Comparison Method to Decomposed Human Remains

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Abstract

This manuscript describes the use of comparative radiography of the chest to facilitate positive identification of human remains in advanced stages of decomposition. The method reported by Stephan et al. for positive identification of dry, disarticulated skeletal elements was used on semifleshed, decomposing remains. Positive identification was established through multiple points of concordance observed in radiographs of the left and right clavicles and the C5-T1 vertebrae. This case study demonstrates the applicability of the Stephan et al.'s method in cases involving decomposing remains.

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