Forensic Archaeology Recovery Case Studies, Finding the Unfound

Author(s): Claire Gold; Ann Marie Mires

Year: 2015


Forensic archaeology can be a useful tool when searching for "unfound" missing persons. Forensic Archaeology Recovery (FAR, non-profit) has worked on a number of missing persons cases in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Three case studies are presented that highlight FAR’s involvement and assistance in generating new knowledge. The first case study is the search for Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student who went missing in 2004. The second case is Melanie Melanson, a fourteen year old girl, who went missing in 1989. The final case is that of Angelo "Andy" Puglisi, a ten year old boy abducted from the Lawrence, MA swimming pool in 1976. All of the individuals remain unfound. By offering the assistance of non-profits in both expertise and personnel, each one of these cases has yielded additional information in the unresolved case. This has moved the investigation forward, as well as, reactivated these cases and offered families some measure of comfort in knowing that the case has not been forgotten. Unique environments presented challenges and the opportunity to field test grave-detection technologies. These cases have furthered our knowledge in "unfound" missing person cases and informed the field of forensic archaeology.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Forensic Archaeology Recovery Case Studies, Finding the Unfound. Ann Marie Mires, Claire Gold. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395380)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;