Device Can Locate Hidden, Buried Bodies

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) — Researches say new technology could help law enforcement find the grave site of a body buried by someone who wanted it to stay undiscovered.

Cadaver-sniffing dogs or ground penetrating radar are traditionally used to detect clandestine grave sites, but can be useless in some scenarios, such as when a body is buried beneath concrete, a National Institute of Standards and Technology release said Friday.


A new method uses technology to sense minute levels of difficult-to-detect chemical compounds from biochemical changes in a decomposing cadaver, the NIST says.

The device uses a simple probe to detect the chemicals collecting in air pockets above and close to grave soil, signaling the presence of decaying flesh.

The device can detect a body buried under a concrete slab by merely by drilling a small hole and inserting the probe, eliminating the need for unnecessary digging, the NIST says.

The device can sense the presence of minute traces of chemicals up to 20 weeks after a body is buried, researchers say.

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Categorized | Chemicals, Other
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