Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 1999)
Analysis of Salivary DNA Evidence from a Bite Mark on a Body Submerged in Water
A female body was recovered after approximately 5.5 h in a river with slow-moving current. On the victim's right breast, a patterned injury was discovered and determined to be from human adult teeth. Evidence was collected according to established techniques including recovery of saliva from the bite mark area despite the body being found submerged in water. DNA analysis by PCR using polymorphic STR markers revealed a DNA profile of mixed origin. In addition to the victim's DNA profile, a genotype contribution from the perpetrator was identified as a minor component. The DNA typing results from the bite mark correlated with the DNA typing results obtained from other biological trace evidence identified from the victim's genital samples. The bite mark and the DNA evidence were used to screen suspects and played an important role in obtaining resolution of this case. Consequently, it is advisable that investigators routinely swab for salivary DNA in bite mark cases, even when the amount is thought to be minimal.