California State University Chico Human Identification Lab

Welcome to the California State University, Chico Human Identification Laboratory


Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology at California State University, Chico

The CSU-Chico Human Identification Laboratory provides forensic anthropology services to state and federal law enforcement, medical examiners and attorneys. These services may include search and recovery of human remains, skeletal analysis for the purposes of identification and trauma analysis. These services are provided to assist the legal system in resolving criminal cases, missing persons cases and providing closure to families. The lab provides these services directly to law enforcement, medical examiners and attorneys and is not authorized to share information regarding a specific case to the media or to the public. The lab and its staff abides by the Code of Ethics and Conduct put forth by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology (SWGANTH), which states that case information is confidential and should be released to the public by the investigating agency.

The laboratory provides hands-on opportunities and training in human skeletal biology for graduate students and undergraduate student interns, including reconstruction of fragmented remains, skeletal analysis, techniques in identification, and the analysis of skeletal pathology and trauma.  Students regularly assist faculty in the search and recovery of forensically significant human remains for local and federal agencies.  Since 2008, a summer workshop entitled Forensic Archaeology: Field Recovery Methods has been offered to provide additional training for students and crime scene technicians in the location and recovery of human remains.

In addition to domestic casework, Dr. P. Willey serves as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Eric Bartelink has assisted the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (UN-ICTY) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kenyon International Emergency Services related to the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. Dr. Colleen Milligan has consulted as a Fellow for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and has assisted with forensic casework in the state of Michigan.  Prior to his retirement, Dr. Turhon Murad assisted the FBI Academy and the David Grant Hospital at Travis Airforce Base as an instructor, and previously consulted with the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii.