Identification of a jawless skull by superimposing post-mortem and ante-mortem CT

Morio Iino, Hideko Fujimoto, Motonori Yoshida, Hiroshi Matsumoto, Masaki Q. Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A jawless skull was found in a mountain area during a murder investigation. The skull was thought to belong to a missing male person who had been killed and buried in the area 2 years before. The body could not be identified from fingerprints or dental records since the offenders amputated both his hands and destroyed his jaws. We tried to identify the skull based on antemortem (AM) computed tomography (CT) images of the missing person and the postmortem (PM) CT data of the skull by superimposing the two data sets using imaging software both in two dimension (2D) and three dimension (3D). The results suggested that the two data sets were significantly identical in shape and size by both multi-planar reconstruction (MPR) and 3D volume rendering (VR). We succeeded in identifying the subject using PM CT data of the skull without the jaws and comparing those data with AM CT data of the head. This method is very easy to apply, and its results are far more compelling than other anthropological methods when shown in court to medical non-professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 1


  • 3D superimposition
  • Autopsy imaging
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Personal identification
  • Postmortem imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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