In Florida human skeletal remains and unmarked graves are protected by Florida Statute 872.05, which applies to all human burials, human skeletal remains, and associated burial artifacts not otherwise protected under chapter 497 or other state law and found upon or within any public or private land in the state, including submerged lands. ACI is familiar with the sequence of events that must occur when human skeletal remains are found in various situations and we work closely with our clients to navigate the process assisting with on site management, communication with the appropriate authorities, and documentation to fulfill statutory needs. The discovery of skeletal remains during a construction project or even during a planned excavation can result in a sudden stoppage of work. ACI has an in-house physical/forensic anthropologist and is prepared to quickly evaluate skeletal remains to determine if they are faunal or human remains.
In addition, our forensic anthropologist is experienced working with law enforcement, medical examiners, and coroner’s office to determine the forensic significance of human remains and evaluate age, sex, ancestry (race), stature, individualizing characteristics, and trauma, in order to assist with personal identification and cause and manner of death. Our experience in the search and recovery of skeletal remains, the excavation of buried remains, as well as the collecting evidence during autopsy procedures is vital in such situations. No destructive analytical procedures are used in the skeletal assessment of archaeological or forensic remains, although samples can be prepared for testing if additional analysis is necessary, including DNA or isotopic testing. ACI is highly sensitive to the issues that surround the handling and analysis of both archaeological and forensic materials. *None of the images shown are indigenous or minority communities and all are used with appropriate permissions.
In addition to the identification of human remains, several ACI staff members are well versed in the identification and analysis of faunal remains. When specialized analysis is needed ACI partners with various professionals depending on the type of remains and research questions.