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The Medical Examiner Department contracts with a full-time forensic anthropologist who is trained and board certified in the specialty of forensic anthropology. The duties of the forensic anthropologist include consultation cases that are forwarded by the medical examiners. Most often requests are made in the situation where the remains are unknown or mechanism of death is not easily discerned because of the condition of the remains. The Medical Examiner Department has facilities for on-site anthropological analysis; however should additional analyses be required, then material may be transferred to the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, a full-service forensic anthropology facility at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
In addition to consultation on casework, the forensic anthropologist provides hands-on training for the fellows and residents in service at the Medical Examiner Department and is a lecturer in several annual courses that are sponsored by the Medical Examiner Department.
The anthropologist works with police and with other law enforcement agencies to provide expert consultation that allows the medical examiner to make an accurate assessment of the facts surrounding a person’s death, particularly when that death occurs in what may be unexplained or criminal circumstances. The anthropology consultant who works with pathology division of the Medical Examiner Department provides a vital public service to the citizens of Miami-Dade County.
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