Estimate Time of Death

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  • Created by: Zoe
  • Created on: 02-11-12 20:15
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  • Indicators of time of death
    • Degree of Muscle Contraction
      • After death, muscles totally relax then stiffen
      • Rigor Mortis
      • Rigor mortis occurs 6-9 hours after death
        • Depends on temperature
      • Stiffness occurs because muscle contraction relies on ATP
        • ATP isn't produced once respiration stops
      • Wears off after 36 hours (tissue breaks down)
    • Body Temperature
      • Usually 37 degrees
      • Body begins to cool straight after death
      • Body temperature can be used to estimate the time of death during the first 24 hours
    • Extent of Decomposition
      • Putrefaction
        • Enzymes in gut break down the wall of the gut and surrounding area
        • Discolouration of skin
        • Gas formation
    • Forensic Entomology
      • Age of maggots
      • Assumes eggs were laid soon after death
    • Stage of Succession
      • Population of insects changes over time
      • Species present when body is found used to estimate time of death




Thank you so much



Brief and to the point, but could do with a little more detail.

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