URI Forensic Science Partnership to present 3-D facial reconstruction expert Dec. 5

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-2116

URI Forensic Science Partnership to present
3-D facial reconstruction expert Dec. 5

KINGSTON, R.I. — December 2, 2002 — Providence Police Det. Patricia L. Cornell will discuss three-dimensional facial reconstruction on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the University of Rhode Island.

Cornell’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the URI Forensic Science Partnership Seminar Series. She’ll speak in Pastore Hall, Room 124 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

When skeletal remains are found and traditional means of identification

fail to identify the victim, investigators may call upon the forensic artist to use the three-dimensional facial reconstruction technique. Cornell will discuss proper tissue depth data determined by race, gender, and age, and tissue markers glued directly onto the skull.

She’ll talk about how various measurements are made and logged to determine nose thickness/length, mouth thickness/width, and eye placement. Clay is systematically applied directly on the skull, following the skulls contours, paying strict attention to the applied tissue markers.

Cornell will also discuss drawings as a substitute for the clay method and the use of wigs or clay to visualize hair.

Various props such as glasses, clothing or hats may be applied to better accentuate the features of the individual. Upon completion, the sculpture is photographed. All procedures are documented and working notes collected. When executed properly, this technique has been proven to have a high success rate.

Cornell earned an associates 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, and in 1996 was named 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.