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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

With art, lives are also saved

Por sumily

Forensic reconstruction specialists such as Mullins, who is engaged in the progression of age, for example, how a child could disappear many years later, look for particular signs: scars, a broken nose even if you have used orthodontic braces on your teeth.

To reconstruct the face with scientific accuracy, it is necessary to reconstruct the muscles and soft tissue layer by layer using mud strips. Next, students use plastic toothpicks to model the depth of the fabric over the clay; they are based on the averages of ages, genders and cultural backgrounds elaborated by the researchers.

The fourth-year students managed to learn these techniques thanks to a working relationship between Mullins and Bradley J. Adams, director of Forensic Anthropology at the General Directorate of Forensic Medicine of the City of New York, who received a grant from the National Institute of Justice for Acquire a 3D printer.

Some students at the New York Academy of Art perform facial reconstructions of deceased migrants in the Arizona desert with the expectation of identifying them and allowing authorities to inform family members.The abandonment of the deaths in this dangerous border corridor includes another dishonor: the identities of the last eight men who tried to cross it and still died later in the desert are still unknown. The tools usually used by forensic doctors to identify human remains, including DNA and dental comparisons, have not yet yielded any clues.

However, the forensic doctor in Tucson proposes as a final attempt to identify the deceased and help their families, although it is an unusual scenario, a facial reconstruction workshop at the New York Academy of Art. Taught by Joe Mullins, a forensic artist at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the purpose of the class is to reconstruct the faces of migrants who died in the desert. The workshop shows the progressive sophistication in the field of forensic facial reconstruction, a fusion of science, art and anthropology, where the skull is used to recreate a face and help researchers identify the dead, a process that is essentially advantageous in cases of crime or massive disasters.

Graduate students, who have anatomy included in their training, work with replicas of men's skulls made with a 3D printer based on CT scans because the original skulls are forensic evidence. According to the forensic anthropologist of the Pima County forensic service, Bruce Anderson, we are visual creatures. When they do not have a visible face, it is the artists who reconstruct what the person would look like in a particular case. All reconstructions made by the academy are published in the National System of Missing and Unidentified Persons (NamUS) of the National Institute of Justice.

According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration, the deaths of migrants along the US-Mexico border increased last year, despite the decrease in crossings. For 17 years, only in the county of Pima, the remains of 2800 migrants have been found, of them close to a thousand people have not been identified. The stricter border laws and deportation policies have forced migrants to cross more remote and inhospitable lands.