CSI Desert: When Migrants Die, Who IDs Them?
Every year, hundreds of anonymous corpses of migrants are found along the US-Mexico border. Often, these bodies are completely unrecognizable: The skin is gone, and the bones have been bleached by the desert sun. Medical examiners make every effort to identify the bodies, but as Andi McDaniel writes in "The Juan Doe Problem" (September/October 2010), they don't always succeed. "A dead body without a name can't be buried, not in good conscience, at least, until efforts to identify it seem completely hopeless," writes McDaniel. "And each person who deals with border bodies has a different definition of hopeless." Photographer Matt Nager traveled to the border area of Pima County, Arizona, where the local medical examiner deals with dozens of anonymous bodies every month, to document the identification and burial process. You can read the full story here.