One problem faced by medical examiners is the disposition of unidentified and/or unclaimed bodies. Even if family or friends are located the body may go unclaimed.

Risk factors for an unidentified person:

(1) war, natural disaster, or mass casualty event

(2) homeless, transient, runaway or migrant

(3) limited forensic resources for identification

(4) lack of identification on person

(5) death many years before

(6) extensive damage


Risk factors for unclaimed body:

(1) unidentified person

(2) social isolation, marginalization or rejection (substance abuse, mental illness, etc)

(3) social breakdown

(4) extreme poverty

(5) illegal alien

(6) very small number of relatives

(7) potential claimants very far away

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