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Locating Buried Canine Remains Using Ground Penetrating Radar

NCJ Number
Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal Volume: 46 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2013 Pages: 51-58
Shari L. Forbes; Steve Hulsman; Mike Dolderman
Date Published
March 2013
8 pages
This case report details the application of ground petetrating radar (GPR) for locating buried canine remains at the request of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Canada.
GPR is a valuable geophysical tool to assist in the search for buried targets, including clandestine graves. Its use in forensic investigations has been limited due to a misconception of its capabilities and a lack of understanding of the limitations associated with its use. In the case reviewed, the canine was a police dog killed in the line of duty in 1975. His remains had been buried in a casket with concrete poured over the top prior to burial; however, the exact location of the burial site was unknown. A Sensors and Software Smart Cart 500 MHZ GPR system was used to locate the grave site on the front lawn of the OPP North Bay Detachment. The GPR data was collected in an X-Y grid format and analyzed using Sensors and Software Ekko Mapper 4. This program allows the plots to be viewed from a bird's eye view as depth slices rather than cross sections of the soil. Identification of the grave site allowed for the canine's remains to be exhumed, cremated, and subsequently relocated to the OPP Museum in Orillia. (Published Abstract)