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Forensic Sci Int. 1995 Nov 30;76(1):7-15.

Identification of bodies from the scene of a mass disaster using DNA amplification of short tandem repeat (STR) loci.

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  • 1Forensic Science Service, Wetherby Laboratory, West Yorkshire, UK.


The accompanying paper in this issue describes work conducted during a collaborative effort to identify the victims of a mass disaster that occurred on the 19th of April 1993 near Waco, Texas. The DNA identification programme was also used partly as an exercise to further investigate the robustness and reliability of a recently developed STR quadruplex. The preceding paper provides details of the loci used and also deals with efforts to assess the applicability of STR profiling and its suitability for forensic investigations of this nature. In this paper, we present the results obtained from 61 Waco bodies. Using reference blood samples and family trees 26 positive identifications were made using a 'paternity style' analytical approach. Worked examples, representing a range of casework situations, are used to illustrate the kind of approach taken in interpretation of the data and highlight factors which affected its success. Additionally, we report on the successful application of a PCR-based gender test to 24 of the Waco bodies.

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