By pulling all of this information together in one place, we hope that we can save the lives of some children and find justice for others.
Proving that a child was starved to death is difficult; it's essentially impossible to assess normal indicators of starvation once a body has decomposed. But the paper explains that forensic investigators can use a DXA scan, like those used to assess osteoporosis in older adults, to assess bone density and determine whether a child was severely malnourished. The portion of the paper dealing with injuries is particularly important. Because while it can be used for post-mortem assessment, it can also be used to examine X-rays of living children who can still be saved from abuse. The paper also offers broader advice, such as noting that forensic investigators should determine whether the story they're getting from a child's caregiver is consistent with the injuries they see on the child.