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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78289 Find in a Library
Title: Fatal Fire Investigation - Homicide
Journal: International Association of Arson Investigators  Volume:31  Issue:4  Dated:(April-June 1981)  Pages:3-13
Author(s): F Mercilliott
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses important aspects of preserving evidence and conducting an investigation of the causes of death occurring in a fire.
Abstract: When a body is found and the investigators are called to the scene, they should make sure that nothing is disturbed until photos are taken, measurements are made, fingerprints are searched for, and all observations are recorded. The medical examiner should be able to examine the scene before anything is disturbed in order to determine the cause of death as well as the time of death. The medical examiner will study three elements: body temperature, post mortem lividity (purplish discoloration), and rigor mortis. Ways to preserve blood stains to allow lab tests to be performed are discussed, along with reasons for doing an autopsy. Various causes of death are described, including death by asphyxia, traumatic deaths, electrocution, firearms injuries, and wounds of several types. Narcotic deaths and child abuse and crib death investigations are also discussed. A bibliography of 18 references is included.
Index Term(s): Arson investigations; Criminal investigation; Homicide
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