Actions required when skeletal remains are discovered


When skeletal remains are discovered there is a clear need for expert involvement. The expert required is a forensic anthropologist. After discovering a scene containing skeletal remains there are eleven actions that need to be taken.

  1. Secure the site – if the remains are discovered during the night – wait until morning to start the investigation
  2. Initiate a full investigation as discovered skeletal remains are to be considered a homicide until proven otherwise

    1. Select the most experienced investigators
    2. Limit the number of people at the scene
  3. Photograph the scene with the skeletal remains in place and create a map which outlines the location details
  4. Create a detailed plan on how to proceed
  5. Search the surrounding area for other bodies, artifacts and clues
  6. Review the area immediately around the remains
  7. Take detailed photo’s of each skeletal remain before removing any portion
  8. Collect the individual bones and label them before packaging them
  9. Sift the ground under and around the skeletal remains
  10. Collect and label everything you find at the scene and photograph it prior to removal
  11. Get professional help to tell you more about the skeletal remains, which means getting in touch with a forensic anthropologist

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