Helpful Definitions

General Information

Date of Discovery: The date the body was discovered

Date of Death: First select how accurate the date of death is, then select the actual date

Date Last Known Alive: First select how accurate the date last known alive is, the select the actual date

Body Size Estimation: Based on best assessment classify body size as thin, normal, or overweight

Deposition Site Type: Description of context where body was discovered

Characteristics of Decomposition Select all that apply

Fresh- Livor Mortis Absent: There is no pooling of the blood in the body

Livor Mortis Unfixed: Prior to blood coagulation. If the body is moved, the blood will re-pool

Livor Mortis Fixed: Blood coagulates, preventing the blood from re-pooling if the body is moved

Fresh-Rigor Mortis Absent: Muscle stiffening has not set in

Rigor Mortis Partial: Muscle stiffening has accrued in the small muscles of the face and jaw

Rigor Mortis Full: Complete muscle stiffening

Skin Slippage: Shedding of the epidermis from the body in any location

Marbling: Darkening of the blood vessels

Bloat: Gaseous by-products of microorganisms causing the swelling of tissues

Purging: Decomposition fluids exiting the body

Adipocere: "Grave Wax." The grayish-white substance observed on or around the body

Abdominal Caving: The caving in of the abdominal area after bloat has occurred

Mummification: Preservation of skin or tissue that is desiccated or dried out

Exposed Bone with Moist Tissue: Moist tissue is present and bone can be seen as the result of the decomposition process that is not trauma induced

Exposed Bone with Desiccated Tissue: Dry tissue is present and bone can be seen

Bone with Grease: Bone is moist to the touch and may have glistening appearance

Dry Bone: Moisture is not present on surface of bone

Weathered Bone: Flaking or roughening of bone surface as the result of exposure to the environment

Insect Characteristics Select all that apply

Fly Eggs: Small white or yellow specks often seen around eyes, nose, mouth, genitals, or wounds.

Larva: Maggots in any stage of development - often resembles grains of rice.

Pupae: Hard or hollow black pellets located around the body in soil or other surrounding material.

Adult Flies: Common fly often with iridescent or dark grey bodies observed in close proximity or on the body.

Beetles: Any type of beetle observed on the body.

Ants: Any type of ant observed on the body. Small, red marks may be observed on the skin of the body, especially if fire ants are present.

Other Insect Activity: Insect or insect activity present that are not classified above

Vertebrate Characteristics Select all that apply

Rodent Activity: Parallel striations are commonly observed on the cortical bone or trabecular bone removed from joint ends to create a pedestal.

Carnivore Activity: (dogs, foxes, bears, raccoons, etc.) Commonly associated with puncture marks and/or crushing, particularly on the ends long bones. Also, disarticulation of the limbs may be commonly observed.

Vultures: Evidence of vulture activity which may be associated with rapid skeletonization, fractures inside the eye orbits, and/or rib fractures.

Other Scavenger Activity: Modification of remains by other animals not described above.

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