Dr. Mires is the fifth director of the Molly Bish Center for the Protection of Children and the Elderly and the first director of its newly created academic program, Forensic Criminology, seated in the School of Justice and Social Sciences. She has more than three decades of experience as a subject matter expert in Forensic Anthropology. She served as the Forensic Anthropologist at the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for 25 years. Dr. Mires worked from 2005 to 2008 with the Molly Bish Center writing grants, building partnerships, and developing programs for the center. In 2008, she served as an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Anna Maria College until her appointment as director to the center and the Forensic Criminology program in 2015.
During her tenure at the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Mires worked overseeing identification and providing the specialty of Forensic Anthropology consultation to casework that was beyond recognition by normal means. Her extensive experience includes identifying the remains of missing children like Molly Bish and the victims of gangster James "Whitey" Bulger. The role of a Forensic Anthropologist is to provide analysis of human remains in cases where considerable time has elapsed between death and discovery. These types of cases require the specialized analyses of law enforcement, identification specialists (anthropologists and dentists), and criminalists to bring the evidence forward to prosecution. These specialists seek to discern what happened to these victims and to use the evidence to speak on their behalf.
The work of forensic specialists is hampered by the element of time, which in Molly’s case was a three-year window between death and discovery. Through research and implementation of best practice in missing person cases, it is our hope to shorten the window between death and discovery and provide crucial evidence that can be linked to the perpetrators of these crimes. As is often the case, high-profile cases draw media attention at the national level. Less often is the plight of the survivors who have lost loved ones to violence emphasized. At the Molly Bish Center, Dr. Mires uses her expertise to bring best practice in every aspect of inquiry; from the victim of a crime to the survivors left behind and from the rapid response to critical incidents to a continuing commitment to provide for the survivors of such crimes. Hollywood dramatizations often focus on sensational crimes and not on the victims and the continuous impact these criminals have on the survivors. Click on the link below to hear Dr. Mires express her opinion of the movie “Black Mass”.
Dr. Mires received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, her master’s degree from the University of Arkansas, and her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In addition to her role with the Bish Center, she also now serves as an adjunct faculty member at the College teaching in Forensic Criminology, Criminal Justice and Victimology. Dr. Mires is also a member of the National Disaster Medical System, DMORT team, providing her expertise as a Forensic Anthropologist during times of natural or man-made disaster.