The placement of cadavers in shallow, clandestine graves may alter the microbial and geochemical composition of the underlying and adjacent soils. Using amplicon length heterogeneity-PCR (LH-PCR) the microbial community changes in these soils can be assessed. In this investigation, nine different grave sites were examined over a period of 16weeks. The results indicated that measurable changes occurred in the soil bacterial community during the decomposition process. In this study, amplicons corresponding to anaerobic bacteria, not indigenous to the soil, were shown to produce differences between grave sites and control soils. Among the bacteria linked to these amplicons are those that are most often part of the commensal flora of the intestines, mouth and skin. In addition, over the 16week sampling interval, the level of indicator organisms (i.e., nitrogen fixing bacteria) dropped as the body decomposed and after four weeks of environmental exposure they began to increase again; thus differences in the abundance of nitrogen fixing bacteria were also found to contribute to the variation between controls and grave soils. These results were verified using primers that specifically targeted the nifH gene coding for nitrogenase reductase. LH-PCR provides a fast, robust and reproducible method to measure microbial changes in soil and could be used to determine potential cadaveric contact in a given area. The results obtained with this method could ultimately provide leads to investigators in criminal or missing person scenarios and allow for further analysis using human specific DNA assays to establish the identity of the buried body.