1st Edition

Postmortem Fingerprinting and Unidentified Human Remains

ISBN 9780323266178
Published December 18, 2013 by Routledge
132 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Fingerprint identification is the most efficient, rapid, and cost-effective forensic identification modality. Postmortem Fingerprinting and Unidentified Human Remains is a consolidated and thorough guide to the recovery, identification, and management of unidentified postmortem fingerprint records - topics from postmortem fingerprint processing to database submission and case management are discussed. Additionally, a postmortem processing workflow is described, which delineates various basic and advanced fingerprint recovery techniques used to acquire examination-quality records.  Furthermore, Postmortem Fingerprinting and Unidentified Human Remains discusses the complexity of antemortem fingerprint databases and how to access each database for humanitarian purposes, bringing a modern value perspective to the topic.



Marzena (Mary-Ann) Mulawka, is an intermittent Medicolegal Investigator for the Victim Information Center Team, part of the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team of the Department of Health and Human Services. She has her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Urbana, IL and graduate degree in Forensic Sciences from San Diego, CA. She is also an advisory member for the Friction Ridge Analysis Committee of the Scientific Working Group on Disaster Victim Identification. Her Master’s Thesis, subsequent international publications, presentations, and recently published book on Postmortem Fingerprinting depict research that revealed a large gap in knowledge of fingerprint acquisition and submission of unidentified deceased fingerprint records. Her graduate research and prior experience with unidentified persons at the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office and New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner have lead to the identification of over 250 unidentified deceased, some cold cases dating back to the 1970s. From 2011-2014, Marzena worked as a Criminalist/Identification Coordinator for the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner. She began as a Criminalist in the Forensic Biology Division’s Missing Persons DNA Unit before being transferred to the Identification Division to establish the agency’s Fingerprint Unit, coordinate its operations, and serve as the fingerprint lead for the disaster morgue during mass fatality incidents. Prior to the OCME she worked at the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office in medicolegal investigations and reorganized the unidentified persons section.


"This concise, well-illustrated book delivers per its title. It is logically organized… the author should be congratulated on collecting together the various methods of taking and comparing fingerprints obtained post mortem. A basis for research is well-founded in this volume."-- Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, April 13, 2014

"Overall this text provides a useful resource and working manual to those working in the identification of human remains."—  Ruth Buckley, CSEye (The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences)