SEASIDE - Forensic scientist Dr. Nici Vance will speak at the Seaside Public Library, 1131 Broadway, Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Veronica "Nici" Vance is a Forensic Scientist for the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory and the State Forensic Anthropologist for the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.

She has a PhD in anatomy from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) School of Medicine. Nici currently works in the Forensic Biology section of the crime lab, which analyzes biological evidence from homicides, attempted homicides, assaults, and high profile cases.

Vance is also a crime scene analyst and advanced bloodstain pattern analyst, responding to over 150 crime scenes in her career and examining bodies and skeletal remains from every county in the state of Oregon.

Dr. Vance is the author of “I Dig Your Bones”

This is Dr. Vance's venue:

A man washed up on a Lincoln County beach in 2002. A woman found inside a tent in Portland's Washington Park in 2008. A woman pulled from the Willamette River in 1993. Who are they? Do they have family? Is anyone looking for them?

Four years ago there were 60 unidentified remains at the Oregon medical examiner's office where Vance works as a forensic anthropologist. The oldest had been on a shelf since 1968. Vance wants to unravel their mysteries.

"Everybody wants to know where people go," Vance said. "These bones are somebody's loved one."

In four years, Vance has identified the remains of 12 of the people. It's happened because of her love of anthropology, dogged work, the burgeoning science of DNA-based investigations, and a national database open to both law enforcement and families.

"This is absolutely my passion," she said. "I want that closet empty."

In addition to loving the dynamic composition of bone, Vance is a long-distance runner, a cyclist, a disc golfer, and a rabid fan of the Rose Bowl-winning University of Oregon Ducks.


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