For nearly 100 years (1908-2008), unidentified remains in San Bernardino County California have been buried in a three acre plot of land located in one of the county’s many cemeteries. Many of these individuals were the victims of foul play, others were simply forgotten by society, but all have one thing in common: forensic science was unable to identify who they were using the methods available at the time. In 2001, the California Senate passed Bill 297, which asked counties such as San Bernardino to apply modern DNA analysis to these decades-old cold cases. In 2015 IFR ran a field school to conduct forensic work to assist in such identification. Students excavated burials in forensic contexts, performed preliminary analysis of the remains and helped collect remains to send for further laboratory analysis before documenting and reburying the remains.
Read a true story about a family discovering the fate of their long-missing mother.