Samples Bias Postmortem of Deceased Male

Postmortem of Deceased Male

588 words 2 page(s)

Based on the information provided, there are a range of methods used to estimate time of death. Because the deceased man’s neighbor claimed that she saw him at 11:00 PM the night before, one might estimate that the death occurred after that and sometime before 6:00 AM. One might also look for how the body was found, and examine the contents of the stomach, as well as various physical changes following debts such as body temperature, color, eyes, and rigor mortis including body lividity (Geberth, 2006.). In addition, an autopsy would disclose the contents of the stomach, which would give a relatively accurate reading of the approximate time of death.

The evidence that was included with this homicide description which was pertinent to the estimate of the time of death was: the account of his neighbor that she had contact with him at 11:00 PM the prior night, so that he was alive then if she was telling the truth; the cooling of his body, i.e. his temperature was approximately 32.6°C; his eyes being covered with a cloudy film, and the purple discoloration on his chest and thighs that is consistent with lividity, according to the description. According to scientific methods to calculate the time of death using body temperature, the temperature of the body when it was found was 32°C. The normal equation for calculating the time of death is 37.5°C -1.5°C for each hour until the body has cooled to the environment that surrounds it, i.e. the ambient temperature (Claridge, 2016.) However, there are other formulas to calculate body temperature in cooling of a corpse. This body was 5° cooler than it would’ve been when he was alive, so that he was dead for approximately 3 to 4 hours. If he was found at 6:00 AM, that means that he died somewhere between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM.

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The other signs that indicated that this was the approximate time of death were: his eyes were cloudy, which occurs within one half-hour to several hours after death (Geberth, 2006); in addition, the deceased’s chest and thighs were purple, a type of discoloration which implies that the person has been dead for 3 to 4 hours. Regarding the account of Christie Moore, the neighbor, who claimed that she had seen her friend at 11:00 PM the night before, there is no indication that this was a false statement. Since the body was discovered at 6:00 AM, all of the noted features–eyes, body temperature, lividity–suggest that the body had been dead for only a relatively short time.

It appears that the body was indeed moved after death. The body was found face up, but the purple discoloration was on the chest and thighs, implying that it had been moved or else the pooling of the blood would have been on the back and the back of the legs

There is, however, another scenario.. According to data taken from the National Science Teachers Association, the body cools at 0.4°C per hour. (Greco, 2005.) Given at the body was discovered at 32°C, this temperature drop of 5.5° would imply that the body had been dead for 13.5 hours. Although the rest of the information contradicts that estimate, if the body had been dead for that long, the neighbor would be implicated in the death of the man because she would have lied about the time that she had seen him, and the condition of his body–being found at the bottom of the steps, injured, from falling,–might have been attributed to a homicide. This is a long shot, however, given the other aspects of the dead body.