Challenges in Identifying Missing Persons in Complex Scenarios

Published on May 22, 2024


One of the greatest challenges in identifying missing persons lies in achieving a high measure of certainty when integrating various lines of evidence. In complex or large-scale scenarios, an integrated approach is crucial to ensure reliable results, avoiding both false positives (misidentifications) and false negatives (missed identifications).

In this event, Mercedes Salado discusses key considerations and lessons learned in the identification process of missing persons within complex contexts. She delves into the challenges and inherent limitations in mathematically quantifying certainty, providing valuable insights for professionals in the field.



Mercedes Salado Puerto, Ph.D

Mercedes Salado Puerto is a forensic anthropologist with extensive expertise in the search, investigation, and identification of missing persons. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology, specializing in Biological Anthropology, from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Since 2003, she has been a vital member of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF), where she currently serves as the Director for Eurasia and the Middle East.

Dr. Salado Puerto specializes in forensic investigations related to human rights violations, conflicts, migration, and other forms of violence across various countries. Her work is recognized globally, and she is an active member of several prestigious organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s Forensic Advisory Group, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions’ Forensic Advisory Group, the Latin American Association of Forensic Anthropology (ALAF), and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).