Doctor's Bath for Corpses Reinvigorates Cold CasesOct 18, 2012
By Karla Zabludovsky
|Dr. Alejandro Hernández Cárdenas preparing to work on a head and hands in his special chemical solution. Courtesy of Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times
Alejandro Hernández Cárdenas took a scorched-looking, decomposed head and five stiff, bloated hands and gently submerged them in his secret solution. After they soak for three days, he said, any scars, lesions or birthmarks the victim might have had will reappear.
They did. The putrid head looked human again, with full lips, large pores and a massive bruise on the forehead. The hands had recovered their identifying prints.
“Science advances,” said Hernández Cárdenas, “whenever there are difficult situations.”
The newly revealed details may never lead to a conviction, or even an arrest, but Hernández Cárdenas, a forensic odontologist who works in the Ciudad Juárez Forensic Science Lab, has attained the kind of star status that could be produced only in a city like this, with its semidesert climate, exorbitant murder rate and can-do frontier creativity. Hernández Cárdenas developed the rehydration technique, which he primarily uses on full bodies, more or less single-handedly, and he even pays part of the cost for the chemicals that turn back the clock on his brittle subjects.
Source: The New York Times