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The search for “Fred”: an unusual vertical burial case

WISNIEWSKI, Kristopher, Cooper, Nicholas, Heaton, Vivienne, Hope, Colin, Pirrie, Duncan, Mitten, Andrew and Pringle, Jamie (2019) The search for “Fred”: an unusual vertical burial case. Journal of Forensic Sciences. ISSN 0022-1198

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Abstract or description

Police witness intelligence stated a murdered adult male “Fred” had been vertically buried in wooded hilly terrain 30 years ago in the Midlands, UK. Conventional search methods were unsuccessful; therefore, the Police requested a geophysical investigation to be undertaken to determine if “Fred” could be detected.
A multi-phased geophysical approach was conducted, using bulk ground conductivity and metal detectors, then follow-up magnetics and GPR survey profiles on EM anomalous areas. A tight grid pattern was used to account for the reduced target size. Relatively high-resolution EM and GPR techniques were determined optimal for this terrain and sandy soil. Geophysical anomalies were identified and the most promising intrusively investigated, this was found to be a large boulder and tree roots.
Study implications suggest careful multi-phase geophysical surveys are best practice and give confidence in cold-case searches. This study yielded a no-body result, effectively saving Police time and costs from further investigations.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
Depositing User: Kristopher WISNIEWSKI
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2019 15:03
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:55

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