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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 5: Deceased persons; fingerprints and identifying data; dental examinations; comparisons to missing persons files

Section 5. The medical examiner shall promptly furnish the department of the state police with copies of fingerprints, personal descriptions and other identifying data, including the date and place of death, of all deceased persons whose deaths are in a classification requiring inquiry by the medical examiner where the deceased is not identified or the medical examiner is not satisfied with the decedent's identification. In any case where it is not physically possible to furnish prints of the 10 fingers of the deceased, prints or partial prints of any fingers with other identifying data shall be provided to the department of the state police.

Additionally, the medical examiner shall cause a dentist to carry out a dental examination in any case where the deceased cannot be identified. The medical examiner may forward the dental records to the department on a form supplied by the department of the state police for such purposes.

The department of the state police shall compare the fingerprints received from the medical examiners to fingerprints on file with the department of the state police to attempt to determine the identity of the deceased. Other descriptive data supplied with the fingerprints shall also be compared to records maintained by the department concerning missing persons. The department of the state police shall submit the results of the comparisons to the appropriate medical examiner and if a tentative or positive identification is made, to the law enforcement authority which submitted the report of the missing person.