UNT Forensics Labs Help Investigations Nationwide

UNT Center for Human Identification solves mysteries

By Sara Story
|  Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011  |  Updated 9:07 AM CDT
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The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification is made up of two labs and a forensics unit and helps investigators nationwide.

Sara Story, Denton Journalist

The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification is made up of two labs and a forensics unit and helps investigators nationwide.

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The University of North Texas is home to a forensics lab that plays a large role in investigations across the nation.

The Center for Human Identification is made up of two labs and a forensics services unit.
 
The center reveals stories for people who no longer have a voice.

"We want to know who this is, what happened to the person," said Harrell Gill-King, Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology director.

If Gill-King and his team can't answer the questions, they send the evidence to the center's DNA lab in Fort Worth.

Together, the Laboratory for Molecular Identification in Fort Worth and the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology in Denton help investigative agencies nationwide.

The center is funded by the National Institute of Justice, so all of the forensics services are free.

"We were involved in World Trade, Oklahoma City identifications, the shuttle disaster, as well as individual cases that come into the lab," Gill-King said.

Mark Ingraham is part of Gill-King's team.

"Some cases are clearly more difficult than others," Ingraham said. "Shortly after my son was born, I stayed away from kid cases."

The team said each case is special.

"These are somebody's wife, husband, child," Ingraham said.

Gill-King said he refuses to look at their job as dealing with death.

"An ER physician who hears someone's last breath, who watches the light go out of someone's eyes, deals with death," he said. "I deal with dead people. That's very different."

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