A Missing Person Body Recovery Case: Maintaining Professionalism & Best Practices as a Forensic Archaeologist Amidst Escalated Tensions
Author(s): Sharon Moses
In Fall 2012, I was contacted by a county sheriff's department in South Carolina and their Coroner as well as by the family members of a missing person, to request my assistance as a forensic archaeologist in a body recovery. A 54 year old male had been missing for nearly two years until a timber worker stumbled upon a human bone in the course of marking trees for harvest. What followed was a body recovery wherein I witnessed growing tensions between family members towards law enforcement resulting in misguided efforts by the family that compromised the search area. Insinuations of a police cover up and homicide were among the unfounded and inflammatory speculations introduced by previous search and recovery volunteers on the scene before we arrived. Ultimately, I and my crew became unwitting negotiators between parties to quell hostilities. This paper is an attempt to address issues of professionalism amidst tensions that have escalated and complicated a body recovery.
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This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- Forensic Archaeology
Cite this Record
A Missing Person Body Recovery Case: Maintaining Professionalism & Best Practices as a Forensic Archaeologist Amidst Escalated Tensions. Sharon Moses. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395383)
North America - Southeast
min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;