“There is no fracturing of the skull, internally or externally. The skull base is intact.”

“The facial bones are intact. The dentition is present and intact except for two right maxillary incisors that appear to have been lost postmortem.”

“The hyoid wings are not fused to the body. What remains of the laryngeal and tracheal cartilages are intact.”

“Two right distal hand phalanges are missing. Neither hand shows trauma consistent with defensive wounding.”

“The body is clothed in a green wool jacket, black leotard, black tights, pink cotton underwear, and blue plastic shoes. The panties appear to be in place. All clothing is heavily soiled. No bloodstaining is observed.”

“A number of fine hairs and/or fibers are observed on the ventral aspect of the right forearm.”

Medical Examiner’s Report:

Elizabeth Ellen Nance. Victim is described as an 11-year-old white female, 57.5” in height, slender build, brown hair. Autopsy conducted on 5/1. Remains are partially skeletal with putrefied tissue remaining on the cranial posterior, torso, limbs, and feet.

The body is clothed in a green wool jacket, black leotard, black tights, pink cotton underwear, and blue plastic shoes. The panties appear to be in place. All clothing is heavily soiled. No bloodstaining is observed.

The body shows no evidence of sharp or blunt force trauma.

There is no fracturing of the skull, internally or externally. The skull base is intact. The facial bones are intact. The dentition is present and intact except for two right maxillary incisors that appear to have been lost postmortem.

The hyoid wings are not fused to the body. What remains of the laryngeal and tracheal cartilages are intact. Observation of aspirated blood in the upper airway or bronchi is not possible. Observation of obstruction of the airways or bronchi is not possible.

Parallel grooving on two right medial hand phalanges is consistent with rodent scavenging. Two right distal hand phalanges are missing. Neither hand shows trauma consistent with defensive wounding.

A number of fine hairs and/or fibers are observed on the ventral aspect of the right forearm. A sampling of these was taken by the crime lab.

Decomposition makes it impossible to determine if there is trauma of the external genitalia or fluid deposit or any other extraneous material around the genitalia or in the pubic area. The flesh of the lower torso in the area of the lower abdomen and thighs and legs is putrefied, but the bones show no fractures or other trauma.

Submitted for evidence:

  1. Scalp hair
  2. Bags removed from right and left hands
  3. Right and left hand fingernail remnants
  4. Clothing and evidence sheet in which the body was wrapped
  5. Hair/fibers collected from the right forearm

Blood ethanol and carbon monoxide levels: Undetermined

Manner of death: Homicide

Cause of death: Undetermined

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Welcome to
Tempe’s Lab

Can you help her solve
the case?

Author Kathy Reichs, like her character Temperance Brennan (Tempe), is a forensic anthropologist. From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, Kathy brings her dramatic work experience into her mesmerizing forensic thrillers.

In Bones Never Lie, Tempe is unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD’s Cold Case Unit. Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a string of girls in Canada, then narrowly eluded capture. It was a devastating defeat for Tempe. Now, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, linked to victims in Vermont and North Carolina. When another child is snatched, the reign of terror promises to continue — unless Tempe can rise to the challenge and make good on her second chance to stop a psychopath.

Here in Tempe's lab, she examines the case file and remains of a suspected victim of Pomerleau. What clues can you glean from this scene?

To follow Tempe's investigation further, pick up a copy of Bones Never Lie.

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