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Journal of Forensic Sciences

John B Nase
Multiple fatality incidents involving more than one child of statistically same age (including twins) can be challenging from an identification standpoint. This case details an urban fire, in which four children perished. Age assessment on three of the victims utilizing maturity staging described by Moorrees, Fanning, and Hunt yielded insignificant results. However, a plot of the MFH data shows the difference between two identical twins and a third child. The twins share a similar growth pattern, whereas the other was different...
November 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Fan Chen, Yi Ye, Bo Jin, Bo Yi, Qingtao Wei, Linchuan Liao
Paraquat poisoning usually results from suicide, occupational, or accidental exposure. Herein, we report a rare fatal case of homicidal paraquat poisoning. A 58-year-old man was poisoned by taking paraquat-mixed medicine and wearing paraquat-soaked underwear. In the absence of a history of paraquat exposure, the patient was misdiagnosed with pulmonary infection and scrotal dermatitis and died of respiratory failure 24 days after the initial exposure to paraquat. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) was applied to detect and quantify paraquat in postmortem specimens...
November 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Qiuping Wu, Qianhao Zhao, Kun Yin, Bing-Jie Hu, Jianding Cheng
Sudden unexplained nocturnal death syndrome (SUNDS) is widely considered to be related to hereditary fatal arrhythmias. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 4 (HCN4) channels are widely distributed in sinus myocytes and play a profound role in generating pacemaker electro-activity in cardiomyocytes. In the present study, the potential correlation between HCN4 gene variations and the occurrence of SUNDS was investigated. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples of both 119 unrelated SUNDS patients and 184 healthy individuals and screened for candidate HCN4 gene variants...
November 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Sungwook Hong, Jae-Hee Park, Ju-Hee Park, Han-Byeol Oh, Eun-Ju Choi, Il-Han Cho, Yoon-Jung Mok
Latent fingermark developing methods from food (mandarin, egg, banana, apple, potato, carrot, eggplant, onion, bell pepper, and tomato) surface has been studied by 10 methods, including powdering method, small particle reagent method, and cyanoacrylate fuming method. The foods were stored under two conditions (room temperature and refrigerator) before fingermark deposition and aged for 2, 24, 48, and 72 h before fingermark development. In most of the food surfaces used in this study, cyanoacrylate fuming with 80% relative humidity was superior to the powder or small particle reagent methods...
November 16, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Fidelia Cascini, Domenico Biondo, Carolina Giannace, Laura Filograna, Domenico Laino, Arnaldo Capelli, Vincenzo L Pascali
History of neck trauma should be promptly investigated in patients with severe infections of the chest as mediastinitis. We present a forensic case of a death due to a mediastinitis in a patient with an undetected fracture of the superior horn of the thyroid cartilage that was exclusively revealed at autopsy examination. Histological analyses of the neck tissues showed signs of pharyngeal mucosal microperforation caused by the fracture and surrounded by an inflammatory reaction. The fracture was caused by a not declared manual strangulation attempt, happened several days before medical evaluations...
November 16, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Wenjing Wang, Jinfeng Xing, Zhiqiang Ge
Nile red has been an alternative reagent for detecting latent fingerprints on wetted substrates. However, the presence of methanol in nile red solution could make injury to handlers and destroy the traces on surfaces, such as texts on thermal papers. A novel small particle reagent formulation constituting of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) based on nile red was prepared to overcome the problem. Compared with the conventional reagents Oil Red O or nile red solution, the nile red-loaded MSNs are highly selective to lipid residues of fingerprints and showed a greater ability to develop clear, sharp, and detailed fingerprints on thermal papers after these were immersed in water...
November 16, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Ganesh Krishnan, Heike Hofmann
The same-source problem remains a major challenge in forensic toolmark and firearm examination. Here, we investigate the applicability of the Chumbley method (J Forensic Sci, 2018, 63, 849; J Forensic Sci, 2010, 55, 953) (10,12), developed for screwdriver markings, for same-source identification of striations on bullet LEAs. The Hamby datasets 44 and 252 measured by NIST and CSAFE (high-resolution scans) are used here. We provide methods to identify parameters that minimize error rates for matching of LEAs, and a remedial algorithm to alleviate the problem of failed tests, while increasing the power of the test and reducing error rates...
November 16, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Louis D'Aulerio, Gary Whitman, Larry Sicher, Alan Cantor, Mike Markushewski
The introduction of frontal airbags and seatbelt pretensioners for front seat occupants provided an opportunity to address injuries caused by seatbelt loading by introducing load-limiters, which were intended to reduce belt loading while maintaining proper restraint. Investigation and forensic analysis of real-world crashes identified that the implementation of these devices, in some circumstances, increased the potential of injury. This paper focuses on the trade-offs of load-limiters, that is, the reduction loading to the occupant versus the corresponding increase in seatbelt webbing and occupant movement...
November 14, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Luiz Antonio Lira, Marcos Patrício Macedo, José Roberto Pujol-Luz, Simão Dias Vasconcelos
Oxelytrum discicolle is a carrion beetle commonly found in the Neotropical region, mainly associated with cadavers and carcasses. Information on behavior related to the likelihood of cadaver colonization is scarce. We performed two field experiments in peri-urban forest in Brazil in order to strengthen our knowledge on O. discicolle behavior. In the first experiment, we assessed the preference for piglet carcasses at different stages of decomposition offered simultaneously in two seasons, dry and rainy, while in the second experiment we investigated the diel activity of adults...
November 12, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Whitney A Kodama, Zhenjiang Xu, Jessica L Metcalf, Se Jin Song, Nicholas Harrison, Rob Knight, David O Carter, Christopher B Happy
Microbes can be used effectively as trace evidence, at least in research settings. However, it is unknown whether skin microbiomes change prior to autopsy and, if so, whether these changes interfere with linking objects to decedents. The current study included microbiomes from 16 scenes of death in the City and County of Honolulu and tested whether objects at the scenes can be linked to individual decedents. Postmortem skin microbiomes were stable during repeated sampling up to 60 h postmortem and were similar to microbiomes of an antemortem population...
November 8, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Lucie Biehler-Gomez, Emanuela Maderna, Gloria Brescia, Valentina Caruso, Agostino Rizzi, Cristina Cattaneo
Atherosclerotic calcifications, as calcified atheromatous elements, are markers of cardiovascular disease. However, the literature gives little information regarding their morphological aspect, making their identification very rare in skeletonized cases. In this paper, we document the morphological, histological, and SEM aspects of atherosclerotic plaques collected from unclaimed cemeterial skeletal remains from an identified osteological collection and extracted from well-preserved cadavers autopsied at the medico-legal institute of Milan...
October 31, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Xin Wang, Sys Stybe Johansen, Marie Katrine Klose Nielsen, Kristian Linnet
The present study involved segmental testing of hair in two clinical cases with known dosage histories. Hair analysis confirmed the first patient's exposure to the prescribed sertraline and citalopram for several months. Citalopram was generally distributed along the hair shaft in accordance with the drug ingestion period. By contrast, "false" positive results were observed for sertraline in distal hair segments, corresponding to a period of no sertraline exposure, which may indicate incorporation from sweat or sebum, which transport the drugs along the hair surface...
October 31, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Jiaying Wu, Stephen Michielsen, Ruksana Baby
There are few reports of studies of impact spatter on textiles even though bloodstained textiles are found at many violent scenes. Impact spatter was deposited at 90° impact angle onto three knit fabrics of different yarn sizes and on paper. The resulting stain areas and number of stains were measured using ImageJ and compared with stains on paper using one-factor ANOVA. The number of stains observed and their areas on the knit fabrics decreased as the yarn size increased. It was also found that blood that deposited on the fabric wicked only in the direction of the fibers at that location within the fabric which led to distorted stain shapes...
October 31, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Autumn R Vineyard, Eric J Hazelrigg, Christopher J Ehrhardt, Catherine C Connon
Accurate blood detection is a primary concern for forensic scientists, especially in highly compromised situations. In this study, blood was added to wood blocks and subjected to a variety of fire treatments: the absence or presence of accelerant, burn time (1, 3, or 5 min), and extinguishment method (smothering or dousing with water). Burned blocks were given a qualitative burn score, followed by removal of half of the char from each block and subsequent testing of each half for blood using luminol (13% positive; n = 96), Bluestar® Forensic Magnum (5...
October 31, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Suguru Torimitsu, Yohsuke Makino, Kanju Saka, Yusuke Fujii, Hiroko Abe, Fumiko Chiba, Rutsuko Yamaguchi, Hirotaro Iwase
We report a case of fatal olanzapine-induced ketoacidosis in which pneumomediastinum (PM) and subcutaneous emphysema (SE) were detected on postmortem computed tomographic (CT) images. A man in his forties was found in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest with profuse perspiration, and 50 empty capsules of olanzapine (10 mg) and flunitrazepam (1 mg) were found in his room. The major findings of postmortem CT prior to autopsy were PM and SE from the lower half of the face to the height of the first rib. The results of autopsy, biochemical tests, and toxicological analyses indicated the cause of death to be fatal ketoacidosis induced by olanzapine intoxication...
October 29, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Emma A Levin, Ruth M Morgan, Lewis D Griffin, Vivienne J Jones
Image segmentation is a fundamental precursor to quantitative image analysis. At present, no standardised methodology exists for segmenting images of fluorescent proxies for trace evidence. Experiments evaluated (i) whether manual segmentation is reproducible within and between examiners (with three participants repeatedly tracing three images) (ii) whether manually defining a threshold level offers accurate and reproducible results (with 20 examiners segmenting 10 images), and (iii) whether a global thresholding algorithm might perform with similar accuracy, while offering improved reproducibility and efficiency (16 algorithms tested)...
October 25, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Shijia Chan, Wei Qiang Leow
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer worldwide with a great potential for metastatic spread. Hepatocellular carcinoma often arises in people with underlying viral hepatitides or liver cirrhosis and may present in various ways including abdominal pain, liver mass, and signs of hepatocellular decompensation. Many tumors may have metastasized to other organs such as the lungs, lymph nodes, bone, and adrenal glands at the time of diagnosis. However, it is uncommon for HCC to present purely due to its metastasis, such as spinal cord compression from vertebral metastasis...
October 23, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Jun Ohta, Nanaka Noda, Koichi Sakurada
The stability of salivary α-amylase is a critical factor in both catalytic and immunological method-based forensic saliva identification. This study aimed to assess the sensitivity of catalytic and immunological tests on degraded saliva samples. Degraded saliva stains were prepared by microbial decomposition using humid soil. Salivary α-amylase activity was catalytically detected both qualitatively and quantitatively using the Phadebas® amylase test. As immunological methods, we conducted qualitative and quantitative tests using the RSID™-saliva test and ELISA, respectively...
October 19, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Isabella Aquila, Matteo A Sacco, Pietrantonio Ricci, Santo Gratteri
The analysis of botanical traces can be supportive, especially when the crime scene investigation and autopsy do not provide sufficient information. This issue arises most commonly in fatal falls from height. We report the case of a man found dead below a hill. The body showed traumatic injuries from a fall. During the scene investigation, a sampling of botanical elements was carried out on three zones of the hill called the point of loss of balance, the point of fall, and the point of impact. The botanical elements collected on the three zones were compared with those found on the victim and an autopsy was performed...
October 17, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
Marta R P Flores, Carlos E P Machado, Matteo D Gallidabino, Gustavo H M de Arruda, Ricardo H A da Silva, Flávio B de Vidal, Rodolfo F H Melani
Positioning landmarks in facial photo-anthropometry (FPA) applications remains today a highly variable procedure, as traditional cephalometric definitions are used as guidelines. Herein, a novel landmark-positioning approach, specifically adapted for FPA applications, is introduced and, in particular, assessed against the conventional cephalometric definitions for the analysis of 16 landmarks on ten frontal images by two groups of examiners (with and without professional knowledge of anatomy). Results showed that positioning reproducibility was significantly better using the novel method...
October 17, 2018: Journal of Forensic Sciences
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