Jul 8, 2012 3:12 PM

Ariz. ranks 3rd in number of unidentified remains

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona ranks third nationally among states with the highest number of unidentified remains.

The Arizona Republic reports that the explanation for Arizona's high ranking is the high number of those who die while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border through Arizona's remote deserts.

Officials say such cases are harder to solve than what is typical because scorching desert heat makes identification of bodies more difficult and individuals crossing the border often obscure their identities purposely.

The federal National Missing and Unidentified Persons System database places Arizona's open caseload of 1,057 human remains behind only California and New York.


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