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The role of forensic botany in crime scene investigation: Case report and review of literature

Aquila, I., Ausania, F., Di Nunzio, C., Serra, A., Boca, S., Capelli, A., Magni, P. and Ricci, P. (2014) The role of forensic botany in crime scene investigation: Case report and review of literature. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 59 (3). pp. 820-824.

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Management of a crime is the process of ensuring accurate and effective collection and preservation of physical evidence. Forensic botany can provide significant supporting evidences during criminal investigations. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the importance of forensic botany in the crime scene. We reported a case of a woman affected by dementia who had disappeared from nursing care and was found dead near the banks of a river that flowed under a railroad. Two possible ways of access to crime scene were identified and denominated "Path A" and "Path B." Both types of soil and plants were identified. Botanical survey was performed. Some samples of Xanthium Orientalis subsp. Italicum were identified. The fall of woman resulted in external injuries and vertebral fracture at autopsy. The botanical evidence is important when crime scene and autopsy findings are not sufficient to define the dynamics and the modality of death.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
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