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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200939 Find in a Library
Title: Investigation of Human Bite Marks (From Child Abuse and Neglect: Guidelines for Identification, Assessment, and Case Management, P 61-64, 2003, Marilyn Strachan Peterson and Michael Durfee, eds. -- See NCJ-200932)
Author(s): Norman Sperber D.D.S
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Volcano Press, Inc
Volcano, CA 95689
Sale Source: Volcano Press, Inc
P.O. Box 270
Volcano, CA 95689
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Noting that bite marks are lesions that may indicate child abuse, this chapter discusses the differentiation between animal and human bite marks, the recognition of human bite marks, recommended consultations, and the collection of evidence of abuse.
Abstract: In discussing the differentiation between animal and human bite marks, the chapter notes that animals such as dogs and large cats (i.e. pumas) will typically leave puncture marks in the skin. These marks will usually involve the canine teeth (upper and lower). Human bites may also show the canine teeth, but they will usually include the incisors as well, due to the relative flatness of the edges of human teeth when compared to those of animals. Bite marks should be suspected when ecchymoses, abrasions, or lacerations are found in an elliptical or ovoid pattern. The pattern, size, contour, and color of the bite marks should be evaluated by a forensic odontologist. Since each person has a characteristic bite pattern, a forensic odontologist may be able to match dental models of a suspected abuser's teeth with impressions or photographs of the bite. Regarding the collection of evidence, photographs should be taken as soon as possible after the bite mark is discovered. Procedures for such photographs are described in the chapter. The collection of evidence should also include swabbing the bite mark areas for DNA and blood type. After swabbing for salivary residue, the bite area should be cleansed and an orienting photograph taken to illustrate the relationship of the bite mark to the body. Further, bite mark impressions should be taken by a forensic odontologist or a dentist, using standard dental impression materials. A relevant case vignette with follow-up questions is provided. 3 figures, 4 selected readings, and 2 resources
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Dental analysis; Diagnostic and reception processing; Evidence collection; Physician child abuse neglect role
Note: Photographs in this chapter can be viewed online at the publisher's Web site.
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