How to ID an Old Corpse? With This 'Secret' Fluid

In crime-infested Mexico, it comes in handy

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2013 6:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – A forensic expert in one Mexico's most violent cities has found a way to cull secrets from corpses that have gone dry, AFP reports. Alejandro Hernandez, who handles waves of dead bodies in Ciudad Juarez, lowers them into a homemade solution that makes their murder wounds and facial features reappear. "It is common with the climate in Ciudad Juarez ... for bodies to mummify or stiffen, with the skin stretched like drums," he says—especially when the body is found years after the person was murdered.

Hernandez starts by freezing a decomposed corpse until it's totally dry, then lowers it with a harness in the bath for four to seven days. "We spin [the body] around the whole time until the human parts or the cadaver regain a more natural aspect," he says. He's also trying to patent his secret method, which has already worked in 150 cases. (Read about the horrific "femicides" and mass graves in Ciudad Juarez, where drug cartels are linked to thousands of murders.)

A dead body on a gurney.
A dead body on a gurney.   (Shutterstock)
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