· Searching for the possible cause of death. Its reports give supports to crime knowledge and possible crime tool investigation and crime prevention.
Factors in estimating time of death: rigor mortis (muscle stiffening); algor mortis (body temp); livor mortis (post mortem lividity); vitreous (eye) potassium; stomach contents; environmental factors.
Signs of body decomposition
1. Aseptic breakdown of body tissues (autolysis)
2. Brain is liquefied
3. Breakdown due to bacteria (putrefaction): greenish color of lower abdominal quadrant is the first sign to appear; greenish-black color of face and neck; swelling; protruding eyes and tongue; purge fluid
4. Decomposition occurs faster after in hot weather after 24 hours
5. fats will undergo fatty acid transformation (adipocere)
6. Hair will slip from the scalp
7. Marbling (reaction of hemoglobin and hydrogen sulfide). Skin turns from green to black.
8. Skeletonization can occur in a week or in years
B. Bodies for cremation
C. Death associated to employment
D. Death link to therapeutic and/or diagnostic procedure
E. Death under custody
H. Possible threat to public health
I. Sudden unexpected deaths or medically unexplained deaths
K. Suspicious deaths
L. Unattended deaths
M. Unclaimed cadavers
N. Unlawful termination of pregnancy
Main objectives are to:
1. establish the cause and manner of death: Accident; Homicidal; Natural; Suicidal
2. identify deceased if unknown of death or injury
3. R.I.P. of evidence
4. document injuries
5. reconstruct and interpret how the injuries occurred. Note: the scene and the clothing are included.
1. Cause of death
2. Extent of the disease