Post mortem changes in relation to different types of clothing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Post mortem changes are important in estimating post mortem interval (PMI). This project's aim was to study the effect of burial and type of clothing on rate of decomposition, which can contribute to estimating PMI for victims. 12 rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) carcasses were separated into 3 groups: no clothing, light clothing and heavy clothing. Control subjects were placed on the ground surface while test subjects were buried at 30 cm depth graves. Soil samples prior and after decomposition were collected for soil pH and moisture analysis. Post mortem change was assessed using a Total Body Score system. The head, neck and limb regions were found to decay faster than the body trunk region. Mummification occurred on body parts that were exposed directly to the atmosphere while adipocere formed on some buried subjects. Burial delayed decomposition due to lower insect activity and lower soil temperature. The soil layer also blocked the accessibility of majority of the arthropods, causing further delay in decomposition. Clothing enhanced decay for bodies on ground surface because it provided protection for maggots and retained moisture on tissues. However, clothing delayed decomposition in buried bodies because it physically separated the bodies from soil and arthropods. Higher sun exposure and repetitive exhumation showed acceleration of decomposition. The decomposition process increased soil pH and moisture percentage values. Soil pH initially increased until pH 8.0-8.4 followed by a slight decrease while soil moisture percentage changed inconsistently. Burial was significant in affecting post mortem change, F(1,11)=12.991, p<0.05 while type of clothing was not significant, F(2,9)=0.022, p=0.978 and combination of both type of clothing and burial factors were also not significant, F(2,3)=0.429, p=0.686. For validation, an accuracy of 83.33% was achieved based on soil pH and soil moisture percentage analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalMalaysian Journal of Pathology
Volume35
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

Clothing
Soil
Burial
Arthropods
Exhumation
Postmortem Changes
Rabbits
Body Regions
Solar System
Atmosphere
Human Body
Larva
Insects
Neck
Extremities
Head
Light
Temperature

Keywords

  • Burial
  • Clothing
  • Decomposition
  • Post mortem change
  • Soil
  • TBS system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology

Cite this

Post mortem changes in relation to different types of clothing. / Hauteo, Chee; Amir Hamzah, Sri Pawita Albakri; Osman, Khairul; Abdul Ghani, Atiah Ayunni; Hamzah, Noor Hazfalinda.

In: Malaysian Journal of Pathology, Vol. 35, No. 1, 06.2013, p. 77-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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