A study to model the post-mortem stability of 4-MMC, MDMA and BZP in putrefying remains

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Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2016, 265 pp. 54 - 60
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© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. There is currently limited data available on the stabilities of the three stimulants 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) in a putrefying matrix. A Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) method to determine the concentration of the three drugs in putrefying porcine liver over a three month period was developed and validated. Both 4-MMC and BZP were found to be unstable, becoming undetectable and having an average recovery of 52% respectively after one month at ambient room temperature (20. °C). MDMA was found to be moderately stable, with an average recovery of 74% after three months at room temperature. This study indicated that the putrefaction process could have a significant impact on concentrations of 4-MMC and BZP in post-mortem cases involving putrefied remains.
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