“CASE 0438: A man illegally crossed the border into South Texas, died on the journey and was never identified. His remains were buried in a milk crate, his skull stained red from its contact with a bandanna.”
This striking description is from a recent New York Times article discussing the ultimate sacrifice many migrants make to travel between the United States and Mexico.
Dr. Timothy P. Gocha, an alumnus of OSU’s anthropology department, works with Operation Identification to analyze and identify the remains of these immigrants to help identify them. “‘When we get them, we assign them a case number because we have to have a way of tracking cases, but no one deserves to be just a number.'” He continues, “‘the idea is to figure out who they are, and give them their name back.'”
Over 500 migrants have been recovered by the project since 2009.