Recent Cases on Forensic Anthropology

State v. Nyhuis, Nos. 63601, 66905, COURT OF APPEALS OF MISSOURI, EASTERN DISTRICT, DIVISION TWO, 906 S.W.2d 405; 1995 Mo. App. LEXIS 1605, September 26, 1995, Filed

In November 1998, human remains were found in a remote location on the S Bar F Boy Scout Ranch in St. Francois County. A forensic anthropologist who specialized in the identification of skeletal remains was called to make a facial reconstruction of the skull. The anthropologist provided a photograph of the skull and the information was sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for further identification. The victim was identified as Bunchee Nyhuis. The identification was made from the forensic sketch as well as photographs of the possible victims. An overlay technique was then used to perform a skull comparison. The forensic pathologist found that the skull was only comparable to the photo of Bunchee Nyhuis.

After questioning the defendant, Richard Nyhuis, he made a full recorded confession. Richard and his wife were arguing. When Richard went to leave the room, his wife lunged at him, leaving bite marks and scratches on his face. The defendant pushed her off of him, resulting in her head hitting a pole and bleeding profusely. Instead of calling for help, Richard covered her mouth until she stopped moving, put a bag over her head to catch the blood, and put her in their deep freezer. Once the ground thawed in March, Richard buried her in the Boy Scout Ranch.

Forensic Summary by Emma-Rae Ranger


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