Evaluation of the floating time of a corpse found in a marine environment using the barnacle Lepas anatifera L. (Crustacea: Cirripedia: Pedunculata)
Magni, P.A., Venn, C., Aquila, I., Pepe, F., Ricci, P., Di Nunzio, C., Ausania, F. and Dadour, I.R. (2015) Evaluation of the floating time of a corpse found in a marine environment using the barnacle Lepas anatifera L. (Crustacea: Cirripedia: Pedunculata). Forensic Science International: Genetics, 247 . e6-e10.
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Human activities involving water may result in a crime scene. Typically, death may be due to natural causes, homicide, or mass disasters. Decomposition in water is a complex process where many factors may interplay. Human remains in water are subject to many potential interactions, depending upon the remains themselves, the type of water and the characteristics of the water. A number of studies are focused on the decomposition process of the corpse in water, on the identification of the post mortem submersion interval (PMSI) and on the diagnosis of drowning, but very few studies consider the fate of floating remains in any aquatic environment. The following case describes a corpse found on a shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea (South West of Italy, Calabria Region). The corpse and the soles of his shoes were colonized by the barnacle Lepas anatifera L. (Crustacea: Cirripedia: Pedunculata). The analyses of the barnacles present on the corpse aided in the evaluation of the floating time of the corpse which assisted in estimating the minimum time since death.
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