The smile in the photos that are published on Instagram or Facebook is a star resource for forensics. Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) have participated in an international study that has designed a new forensic technique which enables identify a dead body from photos from Instagram or Facebook andn which the subject comes out smiling.

This new forensic technique facilitates the work of identifying a corpse and does so by resorting to an experimental method based on analysis of the profile of the anterior teeth of a subject, which are what you see when a person smiles.

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This work, in which the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wroclaw collaborates and which has been reported by the UGR, concludes that the morphology of teeth can be an individualizing character if they are taken into account characteristics such as size, the presence of diastemas and dental torsion.

Easy access to pre-death data

Despite offering less reliable results than those included in the international Protocols, this technique has the advantage of being able to access antemortem data provided by relativessuch as the photos that the deceased person posted on their social networks, such as Instagram or Facebook, before they died.

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Another aspect addressed in this research is distortion analysis caused in the images when using lenses of different focal length and the results obtained so far open alternative pathways identification of missing or deceased persons.

One of the lines of research developed by the Physical Anthropology Area of ​​the UGR seeks to develop alternative human identification methods to those included in the international Protocols, since the only ones recognized are those based on fingerprintsDentistry and Genetics.

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However, there are many contexts in which they cannot be used, as missing/deceased persons come from socio-cultural backgrounds or countries where there are no fingerprint databasesor there are no resources to obtain odontograms or DNA profiles.

“To identify is to compare, so you need to have antemortem and postmortem data. In these contexts, you are looking for alternative methods that make it possible to analyze resources that are easy to obtain by family members with those collected from the people or corpses of the deceased/disappeared”, the authors of the study pointed out.