June 6, 2023

Urban Tech Story | AI facial reconstruction and DNA reveal identity of Australia’s most famous cold case

On December 1, 1948, two men found a dead man wearing a jacket and tie on the beach in Somerton, Australia. Police released a picture of him, but no one has claimed the body. He was called Somerton Man. Police believe he committed suicide. His identity has sparked much speculation and the Somerton Man is the most famous unsolved case in Australian history. After 75 years, electrical engineer Derek Abbott spent 15 years using AI facial reconstruction and DNA to finally reveal the man’s identity. The Somerton Man was left with a plaster cast of his face with hair embedded in it. Working with hair forensic experts, Derek Abbott extracted the hair for analysis and uploaded it to a DNA database for matching. They eventually identified the Somerton Man – Charles Webb, who was born in Melbourne in 1905 and has no death records. He was married once but separated in 1947, and his wife filed for divorce on grounds of desertion, which was not granted until 1952. At that time, divorce in Australia required five years of separation. The exact cause of Webb’s death remains unknown.


Ewen Eagle

I am the founder of Urbantechstory, a Technology based blog. where you find all kinds of trending technology, gaming news, and much more.

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