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Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Year : 2004, Volume : 5, Issue : 1
First page : ( 45) Last page : ( 49)
Online ISSN : 0972-8074. Published online : 2004 January 1.

Conscript Carrasco: A Peacetime Casualty

Oliva Adriana1, Ravioli Julio A.2

(1) Chief of the Laboratorio de Entomologia forense, Museo argentino de Ciencias naturales, Av. A. Gallardo 470, C1405DJR, Buenos Aires, Argentina, E-mail: aoliva@macn.gov.ar

(2) Titular Professor of Legal Medicine, Faculty of Medical Science, University of Buenos Aires, Former Medical Examiner of the National Judiciary Power, Argentina

Received:  19  September,  2003; Accepted:  2  November,  2003.

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


A young man under compulsory conscription was killed in Zapala, in the southwest of Argentina. An attempt to cover up his death was prevented by medical evidence of brutal battering and by entomological evidence of a 20-30 day post-mortem interval, which implied concealement of the body. Insect samples showed a single well-developed “wave” of the greenbottle Phaenicia sericata, consisting in mature larvae, a dead pupa and two empty puparia; this placed the death no later than 16 days before the finding of the body, but most probably 25-30 days before it.

Since neither younger larvae of the same species nor larvae of other species of corpse-frequenting fly were found, it was thought that the body had been hidden in a dark place, after a few hours in the light (allowing oviposition by greenbottles). Coleoptera associated with butyric fermentation (Dermestes sp., Necrobia rufipes) confirmed the dating. A yellowjacket wasp (Vespula germanica) suggested that the remains had been taken outdoors a little before being found. A single Histerid beetle Saprinus patagonicus provided a first record of this species in a forensic case.



Forensic entomology, Calliphoridae, Dermestidae, Necrophilous Coleoptera, Post-mortem Interval, Patagonian fauna.


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