Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 413–417 | Cite as

Human remains found in two wells: a forensic entomology perspective

Case Report


When estimating the time since death or manner of death, the identification and the pathological evaluations of a body are generally impeded by post mortem changes. Research and case studies help experts to achieve a more accurate diagnosis, but at present there is scant literature covering topics concerning forensic science and decompositional processes in aquatic environments. The two case studies presented each involve a decomposed body found in a unique aquatic environment; namely wells containing ground water. In Case 1 an entomologist attended the scene and in Case 2 an entomologist was only involved after 20 months when it was decided that the insect evidence collected at the second autopsy may be useful in determining a time frame. The first case highlights the problems associated with body retrieval from aquatic environments as the body was removed it dismembered. Fortunately, the well was able to be drained, so much of the insect evidence was retrieved. In the second case the body was found dismembered but the entomological evidence was overlooked and lost. During the second autopsy insects were found, collected, and sent to an entomologist to help clarify the post mortem interval.


Crime Scene Human Remains Myiasis Piedmont Region Submerged Body 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola A. Magni
    • 1
  • Matteo Borrini
    • 2
  • Ian R. Dadour
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Forensic ScienceUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Post Graduate Specialization School of Archeological HeritageUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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