Time of Death Essay example

Time of Death Essay example

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Establishing time of death plays an important part in solving a murder; this helps investigators narrow down a suspect list. With the time of death, investigators are able to ascertain the victim’s movements leading up to their death. This paper describes how the medical examiner determines the time of death. After death the human body goes through stages of decomposition; this paper will define those stages.





















When detectives respond to a crime scene that has a deceased body, the first thing they need to know is when this person died. Detectives need this information to have a starting point for their investigation and to narrow down the range of suspects. This information helps detectives substantiate a suspect’s statements or refute them. The only person that can answer this question is the medical examiner. The medical examiner is able to ascertain the postmortem interval (PMI), time since death; through their knowledge of postmortem changes and the variables that may affect the time frame. The time of death is an estimation based on a number of factors such as decomposition stage and insect activity to name a few. A pathologist consults with other scientists, entomologists and/or anthropologist, in order to make a more precise estimation of time of death.
Initial stages of death
The body’s condition gives the pathologist clues which helps determine time of death. The initial changes a body goes through after death are algor mortis, rigor mortis, and livor mortis. Physical changes start to occur to a body soon after death.
Algor mortis is the cooling of the body after death; this is determined taking the core body temperature. The core body temperature is taken from either the liver or the rectum. The b...


... middle of paper ...


...ere buried or not, climate, moisture, and scavengers (Kercheval, n.d., para.5).




Works Cited

Claridge, J. (2013, August 24). Estimating the time of death. Retrieved from Explore forensics: http://www.exploreforensics.co.uk/estimating-the-time-of-death.html
Kercheval, J. (n.d.). Standards employed to determine time of death. Retrieved from http://www.arrakis.es/~jacoello/date.pdf
Paradon, R. (2011, October 28). 5 stages of human decomposition. Retrieved from Sciences 360: http://www.sciences360.com/index.php/the-5-stages-of-human-decomposition-3-4343/
Pounder, D. J. (1995). Time of death. Retrieved from Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Dundee: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/forensicmedicine/notes/timedeath.pdf
Presnell, E. S. (2013, February 20). Postmortem changes . Retrieved from Medscape: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1680032-overview#aw2aab6b6


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