Volume 36, Issue 5 (September 1991)

    Presence of Fecal Material in Diapers as a Potential Source of Error in Estimations of Postmortem Interval Using Arthropod Development Rates

    (Received 15 October 1990; accepted 27 December 1990)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    Second instar larvae of the fly Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera, Calliphoridae) were recovered from the diapers of a 16-month-old child abandoned by her mother on Oahu, Hawaii. The development of these larvae indicated a minimum period of 23.5 h of exposure prior to discovery of the child. Larvae of this species of fly are not normally associated with living tissues in Hawaii, but rather with feces and remains during the early stages of decomposition. Had the child in this case died and data not been provided detailing the site of infestation, the postmortem interval estimated would have been significantly longer than was actually the case, because of the development of the larvae inside the diapers of the living child. The need for caution in cases involving deaths of infants, the elderly, and individuals not capable of caring for themselves is stressed.


    Author Information:

    Goff, ML
    Associate professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Charbonneau, S
    Evidence specialist, Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Sullivan, W
    Captain, Scientific Investigation Section, Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu, Hawaii


    Stock #: JFS13183J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13183J

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    Author
    Title Presence of Fecal Material in Diapers as a Potential Source of Error in Estimations of Postmortem Interval Using Arthropod Development Rates
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30