A timeline of one forensic investigation

Timeline created by rinashaikhlesko
  • Robert McDougall born

    Robbie McDougall was born in the small town of Vanderhoof, in Northern British Columbia
  • McGougall falls through ice - presumed drowned

    McDougall was playing outside with a friend when he fell through the ice at the edge of the swift-moving Nanchecko River. He was presumed dead, though his body was never recovered.
  • Hunter finds skull

    A hunter stumbles across a partially-crushed skull on the bank of a river near Vanderhoof. It will take another 41 years for authorities to confirm that the skull belongs to McDougall
  • Initial forensic analysis of skull

    The forensic anthropologist studying the recovered skull mis-identifies the baby teeth for adult teeth and estimates the age of the child at seven to nine years old, writing in the report, "We are inclined to the belief that the cranium which we have examined is not part of the skeletal system of the missing child."
  • Case re-opened

    After 35 years, the case is re-opened and modern forensic techniques, including radiocarbon analysis, is used in an attempt to identify the person the skull belonged to.
  • McDougall's death certificate issued

    After the anthropological evidence, radiocarbon analysis and a DNA match with family members, authorities finally felt confident enough to issue a death certificate for McDougall, 41 years after his skull was found
  • Period: to

    Initial estimated birthdate of skull found in 1968

    In 1969, a forensic anthropologist estimated the age of the skull at death was 7-9 years old, much older than McDougall. As a consequence, investigators concluded the skull belonged to a different person.
  • Period: to

    Birthdate range by radioactive carbon analysis

    Using bomb-pulse carbon dating, forensic scientists estimated the skull belonged to a child that was likey born between 1959 and 1961 -- their conservative window was a bit wider, 1958-1963
  • Period: to

    Estimated death date

    In 2009, using modern methods to analyze the skull, forensic anthropologists estimated that the child it belonged to died between 1963 and 1968