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Determining the Identity of Corpses Using Fingerprints: Results from Practice and Analysis of Process Used in the Republic of Serbia

Perspectives in Legal and Forensic Sciences. 2024, 1(1), 10003;
Ministry of Interior, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia
University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia
Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases “Dedinje”, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, 11 000 Belgrade, Serbia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 27 Dec 2023    Accepted: 24 Jan 2024    Published: 29 Jan 2024   


In today’s world, when there is a constant fight against organized crime and terrorism, when we have cases of mass accidents (plane crashes, train crashes, buses, etc.), the constant need for precise and quick identification of persons is evident in these cases. When we have situations with a large number of dead in various conditions, as well as complete or only parts of the body being on the spot, there is a need to use scientific and forensic methods in order to find out the reliable identity of these people. Furthermore, there is a need, in some cases, to identify persons who committed suicide, were killed, or died a natural death (accidental death) and who do not have documents according to which their identity can be determined. The aim of this paper will, however, be to identify a group of persons who need to be identified, known as unidentified corpses. Method. Describe and discuss the way of determining identity based on dactyloscopic data, which provides accurate and unambiguous identification, using fingerprints. Results. The identity was determined in 1271 cases of unidentified corpses by dactyloscopic comparison of fingerprints with a database containing fingerprints of about 8,000,000 indisputably identified persons. It was confirmed in 1139 cases. Conclusion. The high degree of identification in our research, as much as 89.6%, makes this method rightly represented as a standard method for confirming a person’s identity.
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