Search and rescue group gets training in bone identification with VCU professor

September 16, 2021

Last year, search and rescue volunteers were called to a remote area of Virginia to look for human remains as part of a law enforcement investigation. One of the searchers stumbled upon some bones, and thought they might be the person. That and other experiences led Jim Russell, director of the Search and Rescue Tracking Institute, a human tracking team located in Virginia, to organize a training session at Virginia Commonwealth University over the summer. Through a contact, he was connected with Tal Simmons, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Forensic Science in the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU. She is a forensic anthropologist who specializes in understanding decomposition of the human body after death.