Evidence collected from blowfly maggots could help in the investigation in murder cases.
Estimation of the post mortem interval (PMI) is one of the most crucial matters in autopsies and entomological specimens have been widely used to determine PMI after 72 hours of death. This is done using the oldest blowfly larvae found and from the succession pattern of insects that colonize the dead remains. Thus, the use of blowflies in forensic cases are crucial.
Chrysomya megacephala - a common blowfly in Malaysia
The most common blowflies in Malaysia are Chrysomya megacephala and Aechotandrus rufifacies. Blowflies arrive and deposit their eggs on a dead body within minutes of death occuring as the odour released from the carcass attracts them.
The eggs then grow to feeding larvae, which feed on the dead remains until they reach maturity. Larvae that feed on the tissues of an individual who took drugs or was poisoned will ingest these substances as well as their metabolites, proving that the drugs had accumulated in the body.
Some criminal cases involve the use of firearms. The forensic investigation of such cases requires physical evidence to be collected at the scene of the crime. In extreme conditions, when the bullet case is not found and the dead body is actively decomposing, blowfly maggots obtained from the dead remains hold potential clues in aiding the forensic investigation.
Our laboratory studied the presence of several different types of toxins, including malathion, paraquat, gasoline, paracetamol and ketum extracts, along with gunshot residue (GSR), to determine the effects of these toxins and GSR in the development rates of the blowfly species, Chrysomya megacephala and Aechotandrus rufifacies. Our aim was to determine whether the presence of toxins may affect the estimation of PMI. We were also exploring the potential of blowfly samples to be applied in forensic investigations for detecting toxins and GSR.
Our results showed that the presence of malathion, paraquat, gasoline, paracetamol, ketum extracts and GSR affected the development rates of blowflies. In real intoxication and shooting cases involving decomposed remains, estimation of the correct PMI using larvae samples should consider the delayed and accelerated duration on the development of the blowflies. We also found the presence of active components of toxins in the blowfly samples we studied, proving the potential of blowfly samples to be tested in investigations to identify toxins in the victim’s body.
In conclusion, the blowfly species, C. megacephala and A. rufifacies, can provide crucial and important physical evidence in forensic investigations.
For further information contact
Rumiza Abd Rashid
Faculty of Applied Science
University Teknologi MARA
27.03.2015 | Oak Ridge National Laboratory
How did the chicken cross the sea?
27.03.2015 | Michigan State University
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
27.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
27.03.2015 | Materials Sciences
27.03.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation