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Original Articles

Identification of unrecognizable corpses: A novel semi-automated approach for forensic facial reconstruction in Sri Lanka

Authors:

M. Vidanapathirana ,

University of Sri Jayawardhanapura, LK
About M.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences

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R.N. Rajapakse,

University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, LK
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A.K. Madugalla,

University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, LK
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P.I.U. Amarasinghe,

University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, LK
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V.H. Padmathilake,

University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, LK
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A.T. Dharmaratne,

University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, LK
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K.D. Sandaruwan

University of Colombo School of Computing, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Identification of unrecognizable corpses is of high importance and when all other identification mechanisms fail, the process of forensic facial reconstruction has to be adopted.

Objective: This process is still at its infancy in Sri Lanka and is yet to utilize the advanced technologies of other countries. Hence introducing a more efficient, semi-automated 3D Computer graphics based technique for the local forensic officials is the aim of this study.

Method: A 3D model of the skull is captured and digitally sculpting facial muscles on the model with the aid of forensic facial markers. Different facial components were added to the completed face model in order to improve the identification process. Separate analyses were also conducted for both facial tissue thickness and facial component variations in Sri Lankans to achieve an improved result. Female cases of the age category 20-30/ medium weight were used in this study.

Results: The analysis of the facial tissue thickness confirmed that tissue thickness data of other countries cannot be adopted for facial reconstruction in the local context. Sri Lankans have a different facial soft tissue thickness mainly in the following areas; Gonion, Sub M2, Supra M2 and the area beneath the chin. The facial feature analysis discovered the mean values of the nasal and eye indexes which were then modeled in to the final output. The outputs were thoroughly evaluated using a number of techniques.

Conclusion: By adopting the suggested novel application based on the evaluation results and the cost analysis, establishing the first unit for facial reconstruction in Sri Lanka would be highly recommended to uphold the rights of deceased and relatives concerned.

Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka 2013; 1(2) : 10-22

How to Cite: Vidanapathirana, M. et al., (2014). Identification of unrecognizable corpses: A novel semi-automated approach for forensic facial reconstruction in Sri Lanka. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka. 1(2), pp.10–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v1i2.7289
Published on 12 Aug 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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