Test Type: Forensic and Failure Analysis
Case Study: Three Corpses and a Road Crew
A road construction crew found bones fragments while renovating a street in New York City. They called the police. It was assumed that a person was simply buried in the wrong spot since there was is a cemetery next to the street. However, FBI also got involved that sent the fragments to the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian Institute carbon dated the bones to 1725 and determined that they were actually from two men and one woman. Therefore, foul play was suspected. EMSL Analytical analyzed the bones from each body and determined two points of interest. First, each person had an elevated level of lead evenly dispersed through the bone (common with wealthy persons of the era that were using leaded crystal as glassware). The key finding was an acute concentration of arsenic along the inside of the bone where the marrow would have come in contact. This is an indication of poisoning and not chronic exposure. The image presents the elemental mapping of the bone fragment showing the accumulation of lead (green) and arsenic (red).