As we continue to recognize Forensic Science Week, tonight we are highlighting the Forensic Anthropology Unit (FAU).

The FAU works on unidentified and missing person cases throughout New Jersey. They assist law enforcement with human vs. non-human identification. The unit participates in forensic excavations, exhumations, and surface searches.

In 2021, the FAU had 24 cases that were positively identified. The identifications were made by dental record comparisons, fingerprints, DNA, and body radiographs. In the same year, the Unit had two long-term cases identified through the advancement of Forensic Genetic Genealogy. One case was a missing person from 1981 and the other was an unidentified remains from 2001. Both families finally received closure knowing that their loved ones were found.

The FAU works closely with various agencies including the NJSP Missing Persons Unit, NJSP K-9 Cadaver Dogs, NJSP Cold Case, NJ Medical Examiners, Local and State Agencies, the FBI, and Forensic Odontologists. The FAU provides training and lectures to law enforcement agencies and various universities and has hosted a successful internship program.

Media and photos courtesy NJSP