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Skin topography analysis, especially fingerprinting, has been used with high levels of success in forensic studies to identify individuals. Since fingerprints are not always left at crime scenes, we investigate the potential utility of prints left from other anatomical sites as a means of identifying their subject. An image processing and pattern recognition code is used to identify key features in images of skin topography of the mid-anterior forearms, back of the hands, and underneath the wrists over a 1-2 month period. These features are then analyzed to determine if topographical features in skin other than fingerprints remain the same over time. Preliminary evidence indicates skin topography, not just fingerprints, stays consistent over time, suggesting that topographical skin prints from multiple regions of the body can be useful for forensic identification of individuals at crime scenes. A larger study including multiple subjects, however, is needed to verify these findings.



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Skin Topography Analysis for Forensic Application