Forensic Entomology in Medico-Legal Investigation | Dr. Denise Gemmellaro
Dr. Denise Gemmellaro is currently working as Assistant Professor in the School of Natural and Applied Science, Kean University, Union and Hillside, New Jersey. She excels and having outstanding experience in her academic qualifications. She has been working as a writer, editor proofreader, and translator from Italian into English and from English into Italian. She has experience with an immense interest in forensic entomology, decomposition ecology, Diptera biodiversity, insect ecology, etc. She has had such wide research experience for many years and has examined different species of insects. She was certified as a Member of the American Board of Forensic Entomology (ABFE). She has numerous publications under her name with a versatile intellectual approach. She has also been actively involved and conducted numerous training and workshops. She has also actively presented various presentations at conferences.
Dr. Denise has precisely talked about the use of arthropods in medico-legal investigations by giving full coverage to the topic as when, where, and how the insects could help forensic investigators to identify the post mortem interval and several other leads to the investigation. Further, the pictorial illustration of the actual corpse showing various stages of decomposition gives an appropriate entomological investigative perspective to the learner.
As we all are aware of the fact that when any murder or crime happens at a place, then we usually call the forensic team to investigate the crime scene and to solve the facts of how the crime has happened. Different forensic investigators like investigating officers, forensic pathologists, and other team members play a very significant role in investigating the crime scene. Similarly, forensic entomologist also plays a very important role in determining the crime-related facts. To understand this, we need to first understand what is Forensic entomology.
In this stage, fresh blood can be seen on the dead body. The corpse doesn’t seem to be decomposed. When the body is fresh there is no particular smell, or visual phenomenon is seen. What we see at the fresh stage is the stage of Rigor Mortis in which the body becomes stiff and the Algor Mortis where the body started to cool down until the temperature of the body reaches the temperature of the environment and then we can see the Stage of Liver Mortis, the stage of discoloration due to the pooling of blood inside the body.
In this stage, the body becomes bloated because of the gases released by the bacteria present inside the body. The presence of blowflies, flesh flies, filth flies, yellow jackets, beetles, and cheese skippers may also be seen.
The pressure of the gases caused by the bacteria breaks the skin and tissues and few lacerations can be observed on the abdomen and thorax area. This will cause the fluids and gases to escape from the body causing a bad odor in the surroundings. The numbers of adult flies decrease, larvae feeding on the corpse and large predatory beetles feeding on the larvae can also be observed.
In this stage, most of the flesh is removed, In this stage, maggots develop a lot of heat around the body by their continuous movement and producing high temperature.
In this stage, only dry remains will remain. Dry remains like leathery skin, hair, cartilage, and bones. In some cases, small predatory beetles can also be found. Then, the body becomes skeletonized and only bones will remain at the end.