Use Footprints to Identify Disaster Victims

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 12:13pm
Justin McCurry, The Guardian

(Shutterstock)Japan is using its extensive experience of earthquakes and tsunamis to pioneer a method of identifying victims of natural disasters by the soles of their feet rather than their fingertips.

Two former detectives from the Tokyo metropolitan police department say the ridge patterns on the soles of a person’s feet are a more reliable means of identification in natural disasters, as victims are sometimes found with badly damaged or missing digits.

Akira Mitsuzane, who led the police department’s murder investigations, and Hideo Kaneko, a former member of the crime scene investigation division, came up with the idea after witnessing multiple errors in identifying bodies after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, in which almost 19,000 people died.

In some cases police returned the remains of the wrong person to their presumed families because they had to rely on clothing and general physical characteristics to identify them.

Read more.

Source: The Guardian


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