Volume 49, Issue 3 (May 2004)
Unusual Characteristic Patterns of Postmortem Injuries
Animal scavenging is one of the most significant causes of postmortem injuries. A large variety of scavenging animals have been reported on in previous papers. Although postmortem injuries attributable to birds are well known in the case of ”aerial burial,” the custom in Tibet, few cases of bird scavenging have been reported. In the two cases discussed herein, postmortem injuries were attributed to crows. Both cases, shared characteristic patterns of postmortem injuries, and in both cases death was attributed to fire. Although massive tissue loss by the crow scavenging made it difficult to determine the cause of the death and rendered personal identification difficult, 1 mL of blood drawn from the intracranial cavity and DNA analysis enabled this information to be determined, albeit with some difficulty.