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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Year : 2004, Volume : 5, Issue : 1
First page : ( 19) Last page : ( 21)
Online ISSN : 0972-8074. Published online : 2004 January 1.

Information is Everything - A Case Report Demonstrating the Necessity of Entomological Knowledge at the Crime Scene

Klotzbach H., Schroeder H., Augustin C., Pueschel K.

Department of Legal Medicine, University of Hamburg, Butenfeld 34, 22529 Hamburg, Germany E-mail: klotzbach@uke.uni-hamburg.de

Received:  20  July,  2003; Accepted:  29  September,  2003.

Copyright : © 2004,The Authors, The Guest Editor & Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology. All rights reserved.


The authors present a case where a man was found shot on the edge of a forest. Lack of information produced various difficulties in entomological PMI-estimation. The calculation was first based on the information that the man had lain on his back and the larvae were collected from his face. Furthermore all of the larvae had been stored in 70% alcohol solution and no further development under laboratory conditions could be observed. The determination of the eldest organisms as 2nd instar larvae of Calliphora vomitoria Linné could be achieved by PCR-RFLP identification.

With data from the local weather station first a PMI of 5 days was calculated, overlapping with an interval when the deceased still had been seen alive. Further investigation revealed that the dead body was originally found with a leather jacket over his head that was removed by the emergency physician. Assumption of higher environmental temperature for the development of the maggots was leading to a PMI of 4 days which was in accordance with results of the police investigations. The necessity of comprehensive investigation of the environmental conditions influencing the growing rate of blowfly larvae and a more widespread education and training of persons involved in crime scene work as a possible task for forensic entomologists is discussed.


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