No bones about it, forensic lab instrumental in identifying missing persons

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Mary Manhein founded and directed the FACES lab, assisting law enforcement in finding missing persons and human remains. Courtesy of LSU

“Can you get me the bone lady?”

Since the 1980s, law enforcement officials from across Louisiana have called LSU for help in identifying human remains and finding missing people. This earned Mary Manhein the reputation as “the bone lady.”

Given that interest, Manhein formed the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services Lab at LSU in 1990 to help law enforcement and coroner’s offices identify missing persons and human remains. With cases ranging from mummies to murder victims, the FACES Lab provides invaluable services across the state using bones, DNA and other forensic methods to identify missing persons. FACES was in the news again this October when Sabine Parish officials, building on the lab’s earlier work in identifying a dead man in a well, were able to recover more of the body and make an arrest for a murder that they believe occurred in 1984.

To see the full story, pick up a copy of the Thursday, Dec. 2 edition.