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Place of DNA in the identification of mutilated dead bodies


K. M. T. B. Gunethilake,

Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa, LK
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M. Vidanapathirana ,

Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, LK
About M.
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
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M. M. A. Rahuman

Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa, LK
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DNA profiling is one of the most reliable methods of identification. But there are disadvantages such as high cost, and necessity of comparative samples. It is a vital method in situations with high profile cases or the necessity to prove beyond reasonable doubt in the court of law.

Case report

Several people died following a blast in or around an armory of a police station. After the initial scene investigation, 23 bodies were dispatched to the nearest tertiary care hospital along with two bags of body parts. Those 23 bodies were recognized by facial features. The other two bodies were differentiated by using following features. According to the history, one officer had been bald headed with hair on his ears. The other one had been fair in complexion. At the autopsy, in one bag, there were pieces of an index finger, the pieces showed baldness and hair on the ears. In the second bag, a full hand was found. In both these cases finger prints were used for confirmation. Later, DNA testing re-confirmed the identifications.


Twenty three identified bodies were released soon due to religious reasons. In some situations methods such as external features and less expensive methods such as finger printings and dental findings could be used for identification. Therefore in Sri Lanka, DNA is being used in specific circumstances where an additional evidentiary value is needed.

Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka 2014; 2(2) : 50-53
How to Cite: Gunethilake, K.M.T.B., Vidanapathirana, M. and Rahuman, M.M.A., 2015. Place of DNA in the identification of mutilated dead bodies. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 2(2), pp.50–53. DOI:
Published on 18 Dec 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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