Below the Surface: Clandestine Graves

We are in what true crime fans call the "Season of Justice." The use of forensic DNA and voluntary DNA genealogy tracing technologies have given investigators an unprecedented advantage when it comes to solving cold cases - bringing peace to families and justice to victims of violent crimes.

Fifteen years after the disappearance of Christie Lynn Wilson, detectives returned to Mario Garcia's former residence to search for her remains. Although Garcia was tried and convicted of first degree murder in connection to her disappearance in 2007 and was facing 59 years to life in prison - Placer County Sheriff, Devon Bell, stated:

"He would not supply any information that would lead to closing this for the family or extend any sense of compassion towards them."

Lt. Andrew Scott of the Placer County Sheriff's Office in California described the 2005 search for Christie Lynn Wilson as, "…looking for a needle in a haystack when you don't know where the haystack is." Law enforcement cited the use of helicopters, dive teams, cadaver dogs, search and rescue teams, and human hikers in their initial efforts.

The August 2020 search included a 4.5-acre sweep with GPR technology, in which skeletal remains were discovered. They were later confirmed by the Placer County Morgue to be those of Christie Wilson.

"We hope bringing Christie to a final resting place will help with the family's mourning and will bring some closure to all who knew and loved Christie." Placer County Sheriff's Office, Facebook, August, 24 2020

Geophysical Monitoring of Simulated Homicide Burials for Forensic Investigations is the first controlled forensic geophysical study involving the long-term monitoring of simulated clandestine graves. Keele University Students did an incredible job of detailing and illustrating the impact of ERM and GPR technologies during the 10-year controlled test using pig cadavers for geophysical and electrical conductivity surveys.

Graphics included in their study are an excellent visual example of how these technologies detect "untraceable," organic underground anomalies, over time.