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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 227803 Find in a Library
Title: Decomposition and Insect Succession on Cadavers Inside a Vehicle Environment
Journal: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:2008  Pages:22-32
Author(s): Sasha C. Voss; Shari L. Forbes; Ian R. Dadour
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study documented differences in the rate of decomposition and insect succession between exposed carcasses on the soil surface and those enclosed within a vehicle following carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in Western Australia.
Abstract: The study found that the pattern of insect succession and rate of decomposition were similar between surface carcasses within trials regardless of the mode of death. Progression through the physical stages of decomposition was 3-4 days faster in the enclosed vehicle due to a higher temperature compared to external ambient temperatures. Patterns of insect succession also differed between the vehicle and soil-surface specimens. Carcass habitation by representatives of the Calliphoridae was delayed within the vehicle by 16-18 hours following death. In contrast, habitation by Calliphoridae at surface carcasses occurred within 1 hour of death. Typical patterns of insect succession on the carcasses were also altered. Carcass habitation by representatives of the Coleoptera occurred during the bloat stage of decomposition at surface carcasses, but was delayed until the onset of wet decomposition (as defined by carcass deflation and breakage of the skin) within the vehicle environment. Understanding how variations in decomposition occur in various environments is essential to obtaining an accurate estimate of minimum postmortem interval. This study used nine 45-kg pigs as models for human decomposition. Six animals were killed by CO gas, half of which were placed within the driver's side of separate enclosed vehicles, and half were placed under scavenger-proof cages on the soil surface. An additional three animals were killed by captive headbolt and placed under scavenger proof cages on the soil surface. 3 tables, 4 figures, and 35 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Australia; Death investigations; Environmental influences; Foreign criminal justice research; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Time of death determination
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