It wasn't until the late 1970's that their final burial location was discovered by Alexander Avdonin in the Koptyaki Forest. The remains were kept under the cold, wet Siberian ground for nearly 50 years; unattended, improperly preserved, and shattered from the gruesome manner of their murders.

Their location was kept a secret since communism still had a choking grip on Russia. When the Soviet Regime was finally starting to dwindle in the late 1980's an article appeared by Geli Ryabov, a crime writer in Russia. In many interviews and articles Ryabov stated over and over that all eleven bodies were present, hoping to put an end to all the claims, rumours, and legends of survival that had been enveloped with this story. He proudly took pictures holding a skull he claimed belonged to Alexei Nicolaievich.

In 1991 Boris Yeltsin finally approved the exhumation, and a team of Russian Scientists had their first proper look at the remains. To everyone's surprise, there was not 11 bodies, but only 9, lending evidence to Yurovsky's highly questionable story of burning two bodies.

In 1992 the Regional Government in Ekaterinburg, the successors of the Ural Soviet, called in a team of American Forensic Experts to see if the remains might be formally identified by outside influences. Dr. Maples, from the C. A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida, lead the American team. After looking over the remains and doing their own assessments, the Americans concluded that the Tsarevich Alexei was missing, along with his sister Anastasia, the youngest of the Grand Duchesses.

The Russian Professionals had agreed that Alexei was missing; all of the male remains before them were mature and could not have belonged to a boy almost 14. However, the Russians had concluded that Maria, the third daughter, was the missing Grand Duchess, and the start of the arguments between the Russian and American Scientists began.

Body No. 1 was identified by the pelvis as being a fully mature female. The dental work on the teeth was of poor quality and the skull was missing the facial bones. Her ankles showed signs of wear, the joints were extended, saying that this woman spent many hours of her life crouched down. The Russians and Americans both agreed this body belonged to Alexandra's maid, Anna Demidova.

 Body No. 2 was labeled as Dr. Botkin, the Imperial Physician. The skeleton belonged to a large, mature man with a distinctive flat, sloping forehead. Some of the torso was still intact, held together by a grayish-white waxy substance called adipocere. It forms when fatty tissue combines with water after death. A bullet was recovered from the pelvic area and another from the vertebra. The skull had a gunshot wound from a bullet that entered the left forehead and exited through the right temple. There were only a few teeth in the lower jaw, and no upper teeth. Dr. Botkin wore a dental plate, which had been found by Sokolov.

Body No. 4's height and age attributed these remains to the Emperor Nicholas. The hip bones showed signs of wear and deformation from continuous horseback riding. The middle of the skull was missing. The forehead was wide and sloping with a jutting brow, just like Nicky's.

Body No. 7 was that of a middle aged woman whose ribs showed signs of possible bayonet damage. She proudly displayed beautiful and elaborate dental work: 2 crowns in the lower jaw were made of platinum, the other crowns were made of porcelain. There were also gold fillings. The Scientists named this one the Empress Alexandra.

Body No. 8, a middle aged male, was named the Imperial Cook, Kharitonov, 48 years old at his death. His remains were the most fragmentary of the nine because he was thrown into the mine shaft first.

Body No. 9 was said to belong to Nicky’s valet, Trupp. He was 61 years old at death. He laid under Nicky in the grave, and as decomposition proceeded, Nicky and Trupp’s bones became commingled. Maples believed that in order to tell the bones apart a DNA test would have to be done on each fragment.

This leaves three sets of remains: Body Nos. 3, 5 & 6, all female. Each one of them were estimated to be in her late teens to early twenties at the time of death. They shared the same style of dental work, and each had amalgam fillings in her teeth. Another common trait was a protruding bone structure in the back of the head, called wormian bones. This is found in only 5-6% of the population and is a genetic trait passed down maternally. Body No. 7 shared this trait as well, and from this evidence the scientists concluded that three of the four Grand Duchesses laid before them.

Body No. 3 belonged to Olga Nicolaievna, she was the eldest of the sisters and the only one of the girls' remains which had become fully developed. Her sacrum (the back of the pelvic rim) was fully mature and she had impacted roots on her third molars. The skull showed a prominent forehead, like Olga's, and also an entry wound in the left jaw. The bullet had gone through the palate behind her nose, and exited through the right front of her skull. The top of the skull had been etched with acid. The leg bones had been sawed in half before Maples got to them, so he extrapolated her height at 64.9 inches, or just under 5 feet 5 inches, by using the arm bones.

Highly encouraged by a positive identification on the eldest's remains, the scientists set to figure out the other two; a task which proved to be most difficult.

The Americans concluded Body No. 5 was the youngest of the remains, yet extrapolated her height at 67.5 inches, or 5 foot 7½ inches. Maples said this was too tall to be Anastasia, therefore he attributed these remains to Maria Nicolaievna. The Russians however believed these remains were tall enough to be Tatiana.

According to the Americans Body No. 6's development was placed between Nos. 3 & 5. They labeled her as Tatiana Nicolaievna. The Russians however, labeled this body as Anastasia.