Lecture: Missing migrants and forensic science

UIndy professor to discuss student humanitarian work in southern Texas



University of Indianapolis forensic anthropologist Dr. Krista Latham will discuss her volunteer work along the U.S.-Mexico border in a special presentation Oct. 1.

“Beyond Borders: Forensic Science and the Journey Home” is UIndy’s annual Provost’s Lecture. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. Admission is free.

Latham and four graduate students traveled to southern Texas earlier this year to exhume and begin the process of identifying the remains of undocumented migrants from Latin America and Asia. Migrant deaths in rural areas – often involving women and children who succumb to thirst and exposure after being smuggled across the border – are an increasing problem for local authorities and a source of heartbreak and uncertainty for loved ones in their home countries.

The volunteer recovery effort, conducted in collaboration with Baylor and Texas State universities, has drawn international media attention. Latham, an assistant professor in UIndy’s departments of anthropology and biology, plans to increase her involvement in future years, building an ongoing program of hands-on scientific and service experience for UIndy students. Read more about the project here.

Latham holds doctoral and master’s degrees in anthropology from Temple University and is a graduate of UIndy’s master’s program in human biology, with a concentration in forensic anthropology. She and colleague Dr. Stephen Nawrocki, Sease Distinguished Professor of Forensic Studies and professor of biology, provide services to police, coroners and other public agencies around the Midwest through UIndy’s Archeology & Forensics Laboratory.

More information is available at (317) 788-3583.