Western Carolina Human Identification Laboratory

The Western Carolina Human Identification Laboratory (WCHIL) is a fully equipped facility dedicated to the recovery, storage, and analysis of human remains. The main WCHIL facility covers 1100 square feet. This laboratory has a single body morgue refrigerator and freezer for the handling and maintenance of fresh and decomposing human remains. The facility is fully equipped for:

  • routine micro and macroscopic analysis and description of bone
  • removal of soft tissue for dry bone analysis
  • casting
  • maintaining chain of evidence
  • state of the art GPS survey and recovery of human remains
  • burned bone and cremation analysis
  • bone trauma replication and assessment

The WCHIL maintains at a separate facility a decomposition research station. Here, through scientific cadaver donations, time standards are being developed for decomposition in the western North Carolina mountain habitat. In conjuction with the decomposition research facility, staffed by nationally recognized instructors, the WCHIL offers cadaver dog training.


For more information on the WCHIL, contact the Forensic Anthropology Program.


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