The number of missing persons and unidentified remains in the United States has been called “the nation’s silent mass disaster” by the National Institute of Justice. Since 1980, there have been 250,000 recorded unsolved homicides in the United States, and due to lack of funding and support for forensic research and law enforcement training, that number continues to grow.
Scientists at the Institute for Forensic Anthropology & Applied Sciences at the University of South Florida are looking to change all of that through their work at USF’s Facility for Outdoor Research and Training (FORT). On this “body farm”, scientists and law enforcement officials come together to exchange knowledge about how bodies decompose in Florida’s subtropical environment in the hopes of creating new processes to solve some of the nation’s cold cases.
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