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Forensic Facial Imaging

Forensic Facial Imaging

Highly-trained forensic artists from the FBI Laboratory’s Forensic Imaging Unit (FIU) stand ready to assist in federal, state, or local agencies with forensic facial imaging support. These services are provided at no cost to the agency.

We provide technical support for the following:

  • Composite Drawings
  • Age-Progressed Imagery
  • Post-Mortem Imagery
  • Facial Approximation from Skeletal Remains

Composite Drawings

Hand-drawn facial composite sketches prepared by experienced forensic artists are valuable in providing useful images of unknown criminal suspects. FBI artists travel both domestically and internationally and use video teleconferencing technology to conduct composite interviews.

Age-Progressed Imagery

Forensic artists can prepare enhanced, age-progressed images of fugitives, as well as endangered missing individuals using older arrest, official, or family photos as resources. The images can be done digitally using computer programs when usable photos are available. When quality photographs are not available, a hand drawn sketch may be done instead.

Postmortem Imagery

Images of unidentified victims can be digitally retouched to provide investigators with acceptable photos for public release and distribution.

Facial Approximation from Skeletal Remains

When unidentified human remains are submitted to the FBI Laboratory, forensic artists will work closely with Examiners and Forensic Anthropologists to prepare drawn or sculpted facial approximations in an effort to identify the victim.

To request forensic facial imaging services, please contact:

Forensic Imaging Unit
(703) 632-8212

- Tri-fold Pamphlet (pdf)