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Developing Identification Methods for US/Mexico Border Crossing Fatalities and Hispanics

In 2008 I received funding from the National Institute of Justice to collect data on undocumented border crossing fatalities (UBCs) at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME).  Because the PCOME has a high rate of positive identifications for the UBCs and because most of their UBCs are from Mexico, it allowed me to create a osteometric database and can be used to further research and development in forensic anthropology.

Data collected from the NIJ grant has created new reference data that has been used to create new techniques for sex estimation for individuals considered Hispanic and helped to improve ancestry estimation.  Further, standard data collected on OpID cases adds to this database.

Download the NIJ final technical report


Related Conference Presentations and Publications

Anderson BE and Spradley MK. 2016. The Role of the Anthropologist in the Identification of Migrant Remains in the American Southwest. Academic Forensic Pathology, 6(3):432-438.

Spradley MK, Stull KE, Hefner JT.  2016. Craniofacial Secular Change in Recent Mexican Migrants.  Human Biology, 88.1.

Spradley MK and Jantz  RL. 2016. Ancestry Estimation in Forensic Anthropology: Geometric morphometric vs traditional and non-traditional inter-landmark distances. Journal of Forensic Sciences Early View, doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.13081.

Spradley MK, Anderson BE, Tise ML (GST). 2015. Postcranial Sex Estimation for Mexican Hispanics. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 60(s1):s27-s31.

Spradley MK. 2014. Towards Estimating Geographic Origin of Migrant Remains along the United State Mexico Border. Annals of Practicing Anthropology.

Spradley MK, Anderson BE, Tise ML. 2015. Postcranial Sex Estimation for Mexican Hispanics. Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Tise ML, Kimmerle EH, and Spradley MK. 2014. Craniometric Variation of Diverse Populations in Florida: Identification Challenges within a Border State. Annals of Practicing Anthropology.

Hefner JT, Spradley MK, Anderson BE. 2014. Ancestry Assessment using Random Forest Modeling. Journal of Forensic Sciences. Early View: doi:10.1111/1556-4029.1202.

Tise ML and Spradley MK. 2012. Postcranial Sex Estimation of Individuals Considered Hispanic. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 58(1):s9-s14.