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Time Fo Death

Essay by   •  September 11, 2010  •  299 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,221 Views

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Once of the most crucial facts to determine is time of death. Along with witness accounts and such, postmortem (after-death) changes are the most accurate

Because of the known fact that when we breathe, oxygen comes into lungs and is circulated through our system by passage of blood cells. Since every system shuts down up on death, bacteria begin to manifest and let out enzymes that produce gas by breaking down the body from the inside.

Consequently, the shade of blood significantly darkens and due to the force gravity, it sinks to the lower sides of the body as muscles begin to tense up. Within a half-hour after death, lividity occurs. Lividity is evident when the part of the body facing the ground turns purplish in color. In the early stages, if the skin is pressed, it will temporarily turn white under pressure. Whiteness is not possible more than five hours after death. By the four-hour mark, the body is usually completely stiff; a process called rigor mortis, which begins with smaller muscles. Two to three days later, the muscles return to a relaxed state since the fibers have begun to deteriorate.

Also taken into account for time of death is the behavior of insects if the murder took place outdoors or in an area with bugs. The division of this particular science is called forensic entomology. The scent of death attracts insects as naturally as it repels humans. A basic rule of thumb for entomology follows these time allotments: (Forensic Science by Andrea Campbell.)

10 minutes after death if in open air, flies lay 1000's of eggs in mouth, eyes, etc.

12 hours Eggs hatch and maggots begin to eat tissues

24-36 hours after Dry skin is consumed by beetles

48 hours later Spiders etc. begin to eat the bugs that are eating the body

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