- Slides: 14
EXAM 1 Case Study
Case Study A husband wife were seen arguing in the driveway of their home. The next-door neighbor who witnessed the argument said the couple began shouting at each other, but he could not hear what they were arguing about. He also stated that he had just come home from having lunch with a friend and knew it was just about 1300 hours on Friday. He witnessed the man becoming quite upset and then he saw the husband slap his wife across the left cheek.
Case Study She then proceeded to walk rapidly away from her husband into the garage where the neighbor could no longer view what was happening between the couple. The garage door was shut by the husband. That evening at approximately 2000 hours, the husband reported his wife as missing. He told the police officer over that phone that he and his wife had been in a fight earlier that morning. After the fight he said his wife took a walk to cool off and he has not seen or heard from her. He was worried something may have happened to her so he was reporting her as a missing person.
Case Study A body was found along the side of the 15 freeway. The body was found in full rigor mortis with dependent livor mortis. The livor mortis was a bright red color and the dependent areas were on the bottom of the body’s feet and in the buttocks area. The cadaver was moved and the livor mortis demonstrated “fixed” lividity. The body was also in a strange rigor position, it looked like she was sitting down.
Case Study It appeared to the detectives that the body was dumped on the side of the road after the murder had occurred. There were no outwards marks on the body, like stab wounds, strangulation marks, gunshot wounds, etc. The detectives collected a couple blow flies around the body and also several samples of the maggot infestation. Later the maggots were cultured out and found to have turned into flies within
Case Study Upon autopsy the forensic pathologist stated that the woman had a stomach content which appeared to be made up of a type of ground beef, may have even been a sausage, but nothing else. The husband was later interviewed and stated the wife had eaten a light breakfast at approximately 0700 hours on Friday. A forensic Odontologist was called in to examine the body and a comparison was made to several missing persons. It turns out that this body was the body of the missing woman who was last seen by witnesses to have been fighting with her husband in the driveway of their home.
Case Study From the information given please identify the approximate time of death and explain how you came up with this explanation. Also explain what the cause and manner of death is and why you think this is the case.
Explanation The last time the woman was seen alive was approximately 1300 hours or 1: 00 pm on a Friday. She and her husband were seen arguing in the driveway in front of the garage of their home.
Explanation The body found was in full rigor mortis which would indicate one of two time frames. Either the rigor is just beginning to set in, so less than 12 hours after death. Or the body is not completely out of rigor yet, so less than 24 hours after death.
Explanation The body also had red dependent livor mortis. If it was fixed then the livor mortis had set in for 8 -12 hours (or more) and if not, then less than 8 hours. The person was also bright red. This may indicate Cyanide or Carbon Monoxide poisoning. It would be important for the Forensic Pathology to toxicologically test for these.
Explanation Since the maggots were also present then the TOD would be indicative of approximately 24 hours or more. The stomach contents seem to indicate a TOD of at least 6 – 8 hours
Explanation TOD is consistent with at least 6 – 8 hours after breakfast on Friday morning. The body must have been found within 24 hours of death since it was still in rigor. This is of course dependent on outside temperatures. The Cause and Manner of death are Undeterminable without further testing. However
Explanation Did she die of asphyxia or Cyanide? If she did die from CO or CN poisoning was it homicide or suicide? Further questions and investigation must be performed. The blanching on the buttocks and feet may indicate a sitting position when the individual died. Was this in a car or on a chair? Certainly someone had to dump the body. Indicative on homicide? ? ?