Mystery of 12 missing Croats and Bosniaks solved after 70 years

Na fotografiji prof.dr. Primoraci prof.dr. Lauc s članovima obitelji ubijeniMystery of 12 missing Croats and Bosniaks solved after 70 years. Professors Dragan Primorac, Damir Marijanović and Gordan Lauc of Genos, Zagreb, successfully used methods of DNA analysis to identify World War II victims

Professors Gordan Lauc, Dragan Primorac and Damir Marjanović presented the findings of the forensic analysis to the families of the identified victims.

In late 1944 in Ljubuški, a dozen citizens of Croatian and Bosnian nationality disappeared, their bodies found in a mass grave. The families of the missing persons immediately requested identification of the recovered skeletal remains and asked for involvement of the International Society for Applied Biological Sciences (ISABS), one of the world’s most prestigious organizations in the field of forensics and human genetics.

The analysis of the DNA isolated from the skeletal remains found in the mass grave and the comparison with the reference DNA samples has been fully performed in the laboratory of Genos in Zagreb in collaboration with researchers at the Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology from Sarajevo, headed by Professor Damir Marjanović.

The comparison with the living relatives yielded four matching DNA profiles. The analysis restored the names to the skeletal remains. Mrs Ruška Barišić offered her moving account of the disappearance of her father. The presentation of the findings was a very emotional moment for her and she told that now, after the skeletal remains of her father had been found, she would finally be able to light a candle on his grave.

The magazine The Scientist placed Genos at the top of their “Best Places to Work” list for 2013.

Photo: Professors Primorac and Lauc with the victims’ families

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