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NCJ Number: 249354 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of Sampling Methods Used To Produce Insect Growth Models for Postmortem Interval Estimation
Journal: International Journal of Legal Medicine  Volume:129  Issue:2  Dated:March 2015  Pages:405-410
Author(s): Jeffrey D. Wells; Melise C. Leeheta; Manricio O. Moura; Lynn R. LaMotte
Date Published: March 2015
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2013-DN-BX-K042
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study calculated 95-percent inverse prediction confidence limits for growth curves of the forensically important carrion flies Chrysomya megacephala and Sarconesia chlorogaster (Calliphoridae) at a constant temperature.
Abstract: Many authors have produced carrion insect development data for predicting the age of an insect from a corpse. Under some circumstances, this age value is a minimum postmortem interval. There are no standard protocols for such experiments, and the literature includes a variety of sampling methods. To the knowledge of the current study’s authors, there has been no investigation of how the choice of sampling method can be expected to influence the performance of the resulting predictive model. In the current study, confidence limits constructed on data for entire age cohorts were considered to be the most realistic and were used to judge the effect of various sub-sampling schemes from the literature. Random sub-samples yielded predictive models similar to those of the complete data. Because taking genuinely random sub-samples would require a great deal of effort, the authors considered it worthwhile only if the larval measurement technique was especially slow and/or expensive; however, although some authors claimed to use random samples, their published methods suggest otherwise. Sub-sampling the largest larvae produced a predictive model that performed poorly, with confidence intervals about an estimate of age being unjustifiably narrow and unlikely to contain the true age. The authors believe these results indicate that most forensic insect development studies should involve the measurement of entire age cohorts rather than sub-samples of one or more cohorts. (Publisher abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Homicide investigations; Investigative techniques; NIJ grant-related documents; NIJ Resources; Time of death determination
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