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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

Facial reconstruction expert to address
URI Forensic Science Partnership Seminar Series
Providence detective to speak Jan. 30

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 28, 2003 -- Providence Police Det. Patricia L. Cornell will discuss facial reconstruction from skeletal remains Thursday, Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island’s Pastore Hall, Room 124.

Cornell’s talk, part of the Forensic Science Partnership Seminar Series, is free and open to the public.

When skeletal remains are found and traditional means of identification fail to identify the victim, investigators may call upon the forensic artist to employ the three-dimensional facial reconstruction technique. By using proper tissue depth data determined by race, gender, and age, tissue markers are glued directly onto the skull. Various measurements are made and logged to determine nose thickness/length, mouth thickness/width, and eye placement. Clay will be systematically applied directly on the skull, following the skull's contours, paying strict attention to the applied tissue markers.

Alternately, drawings may be substituted for the clay method. Hair may be visualized by use of a wig or clay. Various props such as glasses, clothing, hats, may be applied to better accentuate the features of the individual. When executed properly, this technique has been proven to have a high success rate.

Cornell will discuss and answer questions about the techniques listed above.

Cornell obtained an associate's degree from Roger Williams University in Criminal Justice in 1996. She served as a military police officer during the Persian Gulf War. In 1990 she became a Providence police officer. In 1996 she became an officer in the Special Services Bureau and was promoted to detective in the Bureau of Criminal Identification in August of that year. She has attended the FBI Academy at Quantico for skull reconstruction and facial imaging as well as seminars on blood spatter, palm prints, latent prints, terrorism, discovery and analysis of human remains at the Henry C. Lee Institute for Forensic Science. She is presently an instructor for the URI State Crime Laboratory course on Criminal Investigation and a consultant for Skull Reconstruction at the Henry Lee Institute for Forensic Science.

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File last updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2003

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