Anatomical location dependence of human decomposition products in clothing

Taylor and Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2022
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The human decomposition process results in the formation of particular biological compounds, the chemistry of which provides valuable insight into the nature of a death. This paper reports the findings of a study of the decomposition process of clothed human remains at the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER). An investigation into how decomposition products appear in opposing anatomical regions, namely the anterior and posterior regions of the body, has been carried out. The chemistry of the lipid and protein components and their by-products formed in the first months of decomposition were examined using infrared spectroscopy. The study has demonstrated a clear difference in the pattern of formation of human decomposition products absorbed by textiles located in the anterior versus posterior regions. The time of appearance of established compounds at recognized stages of human decomposition varies notably depending on the anatomical location of the clothing.
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