Korean J Leg Med.  2015 Feb;39(1):12-16. 10.7580/kjlm.2015.39.1.12.

Dental Identification of the Putative Body of a Most Wanted Fugitive

  • 1Medical Examiner's Office, National Forensic Service, Wonju, Korea. komiyama@korea.kr


Dental identification was conducted on the putative body of a most wanted fugitive who was considered to be the de facto owner of the ferry MV Sewol. Postmortem examination showed many dental characteristics, including gold crowns, a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, a gold fixed bridge, and resin restorations. The estimated age of the body was approximately 73 years. Antemortem data collected by the fugitive at private dentist showed that 10 teeth had dental features. When the antemortem data on the 10 teeth were compared with the corresponding teeth by using postmortem data, there was no discrepancy in the remaining teeth. The number of possible combinations was calculated, and the likelihood of this fugitive and any other person having the same dental features was one in 14 billion. Using the results of dental examination, the body was successfully identified.


Age determination by teeth; Forensic dentistry

MeSH Terms

Age Determination by Teeth
Denture, Partial, Fixed
Forensic Dentistry


  • Fig. 1. Two gold crowns, one porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, and one gold bridge are observed in maxillary dentition. The right first premolar and left lateral incisor are not shown because they were extracted for DNA profiling and estimation of age.

  • Fig. 2. Four gold crowns and two composite resin restorations are observed in mandibular dentition. The right lateral incisor and left canine are not shown because they were extracted for estimation of age.

  • Fig. 3. There are no specific findings in the postmortem periapical radiographs. (A) The radiograph of the maxillary right first and second molars. (B) The radiograph of the maxillary left canine and first premolar. (C) The radiograph of the maxillary left second premolar, first molar, and second molar. (D) The radiograph of the mandibular right first and second molars. (E) The radiograph of the mandibular right first and second premolars. (F) The radiograph of the mandibular left first and second molars.

  • Fig. 4. Comparison of postmortem (PM) and antemortem (AM) dental data is expressed in a schematic odontogram.


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