Michelle Southern reporting.
The woman who has assisted law enforcement locally and nationally in identifying human remains, Mary Manhein, announces she is retiring from the LSU FACES Laboratory after more than 30 years. Also known as "The Bone Lady," Manhein has consulted on hundreds of forensic cases including mass disasters.
"So that to me has been one of the most rewarding things," says Manhein. "At the very least to get these people identified and to let their families know at least where their loved ones are and what happened to them."
Manhein says her last day is April 30th and she'll then turn over the reigns of the program to another generation.
She says some of the most rewarding work she's done was in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Issac in which they were able to assist cemeteries who were having problems with graves.
"That had been disinterred and had floated down the road," said Manhein. "This kind of expertise for helping with mass disasters is something the FACES lab is known for."
Manhein says she's loved that her job has enabled her to work with families of victims in helping resolve cold cases of unidentified persons. She says through the cold case "hit" program, they've had instances where the DNA from an unidentified person get matched up with someone from across the country.
"We've had several of those in our cold case work and it's a very rare thing," said Menhein.