Clandestine Grave

Surface and Buried Body Recovery

June 10 - June 13, 2019

Enrollment Cost - $495

Course Location - Cuba, Missouri

The Surface Skeleton and Buried Body Recovery Short-Course is a 4 day, hands-on, course designed to orient detectives, crime scene investigators and medicolegal death investigators to the proper techniques for processing surface skeleton and buried body scenes. The course includes the following topics in a combined classroom instruction and actual buried and surface remain recovery exercise:

  • Forensic Anthropology in the Medicolegal System
  • Determination of Age-at-Death, Sex, Ancestry, and Stature
  • Assessment of Bony Trauma
  • Positive Identification of Unknown Human Remains
  • Period Since Death
  • Crime Scene Investigation on Unknown Human Remains
  • Techniques for the Proper Recovery of Scattered and Buried Human Remains
  • Determination of Human vs. Non-human Remains
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Art and Unknown Remains

Upon successful completion of this course, the attendee should be able to understand and implement the process of locating and documenting buried bodies and surface scattered human remains; think critically about the type of experts needed to provide analyses integral to case resolution; recommend personnel and equipment needs for exhumations and surface scatter scenes.

Course Accreditation

This course is approved for continuing education credits by the Missouri Department of Public safety POST commission as well as the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)


Mark Beary

Dr. Mark Beary PhD

Dr. Mark Beary is the consulting forensic anthropologist for the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office, located in Columbia, Mo. He worked as a professional archaeologist for several years before entering the field of forensic anthropology. In 2005 he received his Master’s degree in Forensic and Biological Anthropology and in 2018 he received his Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus in bioarcheology and forensics. He has worked on numerous cases through the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office over the past ten years. He has also worked directly with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to recover human remains from outdoor crime scenes and clandestine graves. His professional interests include forensic archaeology and outdoor crime scene recovery; forensic taphonomy including forensic entomology; development of biological profiles from human skeletal remains; and human skeletal trauma analysis.

Darren Dake, D-ABMDI, CI, CCI

Darren is a certified teaching instructor and criminal investigator with over 30 years experience in the field of law enforcement and death investigations. He holds certification as an instructor for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, and the Law Enforcement Training Institute – (Missouri University Columbia). Darren is also the lead instructor and Founding Director for the Death Investigation Training Academy.