Facial restoration is a last resort at identification when all other methods have failed. When successful, it is not in itself an identifying tool such as antemortem and postmortem radiographs of skull sinuses, dental restorations, and the like. It is merely a clue, but important in that it gives the working police officers a lead they did not have before.
The face in clay will be exhibited in all the media--newspapers, police stations, television, etc. What is hoped for is that someone will call in and positively identify the person. The investigator can now go to the home of the suspect and obtain a photograph, if indeed he/she is missing. A skull/photo superimposition can now be made for a positive identification or not.
Facial restoration is a clue at best, but a valuable clue when it leads to identification of the skeletal remains. The success rate warrants the continued use of this technique.
Careful examination of the skeletal remains is necessary to determine the sex of the individual. The estimation of gender can be determined through analysis of the skull (cranium and mandible) and postcranial skeleton. The pelvis is considered the best area to determine the sex of a skeleton and the skull is presumably the second best area. The skull and bone features vary from male to female and this is based on the generalization that male features are more pronounced and marked than the female (Table E-1).
TABLE E-1 GENDER ESTIMATION
The only part of the skeleton from which the origin of race can be accurately determined is the skull. Through evaluation and comparison of the anatomical and morphological skull feature variations, and anthropometric measurements racial origin Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid, can be determined. The skull features of Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid races are shown in Table E-2.
TABLE E-2 RACE DETERMINATION
* These and many others sited above will vary. The low, broad nasal bones of the relatively unmixed black will tend towards the narrower, high-bridged one of the caucasoid with race mixture.
The biological age of a skeleton can be estimated by the following criteria: tooth eruption of the deciduous and secondary dentitions and epiphyseal growth and closure of the secondary ossification centers.
TISSUE DEPTH LANDMARKS
Tissue landmarks are rubber pegs cut to a specified length that represent the thickness of the soft tissue at different points on the skull (Table E-3). The tissue depth landmarks are glued to the skull and connected with modeling clay (Figure E-1 (A) and (B)).
TABLE E-3 TISSUE LANDMARK CHART
* For Native American skulls, use the same depths as for Caucasoids
Plastic eyes are placed into their respective positions, the remaining spaces are filled in with clay, and the facial features are sculpted using the tissue landmarks as a guide. A wig, hat, glasses, or scarf is placed on the model. A photograph is taken of the finished model and it is distributed to all media.