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NCJ Number: 183939 Find in a Library
Title: Petechiae of the Baby's Skin as Differentiation Symptom of Infanticide Versus SIDS
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:45  Issue:3  Dated:May 2000  Pages:602-607
Author(s): Manfred Oehmichen M.D.; Ivana Gerling M.D.; Christoph MeiBner M.D.
Date Published: May 2000
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines petechiae of the baby’s skin as differentiation symptom of infanticide versus SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Abstract: The article describes the successive killing of three siblings by their biological mother at 2-year intervals. The children were 367 days, 75 days, and 3 years old. Although SIDS or interstitial pneumonia could not be ruled out as the cause of death in the two younger children, who were killed first, the third child exhibited discrete signs of violence in the mouth and throat area which were interpreted as proof of infanticide. All three children had petechiae of the skin of the face and throat, the upper thorax, the shoulders and the mucous membranes of the mouth. None of the children exhibited signs of disease-related hemorrhagic tendency. After the mother was convicted of murdering the 3-year-old boy by smothering in combination with compression of the thorax, she confessed to having killed the other two children in a similar manner. In the absence of hemostatic disease, the presence of petechiae of the skin extending over the entire drainage area of the Vena cava superior can be regarded as evidence of an increase in pressure in the thoracic cavity secondary to obstruction of the airways with simultaneous chest compression. Figures, references
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Asphyxiation; Autopsy; Crimes against children; Family homicide; Forensic medicine; Forensic pathology; Forensic sciences; Infanticide; Sudden infant death syndrome
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