Journal of
Clinical Pathology and Forensic Medicine

  • Abbreviation: J. Clin. Pathol. Forensic Med.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2405
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCPFM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 29

Case Report

Forensic DNA analysis in the identification of human remains in mass graves

Zlatko Jakovski*, Ksenija Nikolova, Biljana Janeska, Zdravko Cakar, Aleksandar Stankov, Verica Poposka, Goran Palvovski and Aleksej Duma
Institute of Forensic Medicine, Criminology and Medical Deontology, School of Medicine, “Ss. Ciril and Methodius” University, Str. Vodnjanska 19 Skopje 1000, Republic of Macedonia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 January 2010
  •  Published: 31 March 2010


Routine techniques are often insufficient to address the identification of human remains in mass graves. The major complicating factors include delayed exhumation, commingling of skeletal remains, lack of ante-mortem information and attempts to conceal evidence of criminal activity. We have elaborated a study on two mass graves that contained partly fragmented commingled remains from the ethnic conflicts that took place in 2001 in the Republic of Macedonia. By using DNA typing of autosomal and Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (STR) markers and by making comparisons with samples from parents and siblings we identified all of the victims.


Key words:  DNA, autosomal and Y-chromosomal STR, decomposed bodies.