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Forensic Sci., Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2022) – 21 articles

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15 pages, 330 KiB  
Review
The Estimation of Sex of Human Skeletal Remains in the Portuguese Identified Collections: History and Prospects
by Francisco Curate
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 272-286; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010021 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6410
Abstract
The estimation of biological sex is of paramount significance for the identification of anonymous skeletal remains in contemporary medico-legal contexts or bioarcheological studies of past societies. Sex estimation techniques are usually affected by population-specific sexual dimorphism. As such, the need for distinctive standards [...] Read more.
The estimation of biological sex is of paramount significance for the identification of anonymous skeletal remains in contemporary medico-legal contexts or bioarcheological studies of past societies. Sex estimation techniques are usually affected by population-specific sexual dimorphism. As such, the need for distinctive standards for each population has long been acknowledged. This paper aims to document and critically address sex estimation methods that have been created, or tested, in Portuguese identified skeletal collections in a historically situated dimension. Moreover, the ever-changing landscape of forensic anthropology calls for a deep reflection about a plethora of issues regarding sex estimation in human remains, including the usage of medical imaging methods and innovative statistical approaches, the biological and social resignification of sex and gender, the problems arising from secular change, and the ethics involving the use of human skeletal collections within the discipline. Full article
10 pages, 2910 KiB  
Article
Measuring Odor Transport of Narcotic Substances Using DART-MS
by Torki A. Zughaibi, Kenneth G. Furton, Howard K. Holness and Michelle R. Peace
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 262-271; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010020 - 13 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2605
Abstract
The employment of canines in matters of law enforcement is due to their heightened olfactory senses, which helps in evaluating the presence of illicit substances. However, there have been instances where canines are signaling the presence of narcotics when they are not there. [...] Read more.
The employment of canines in matters of law enforcement is due to their heightened olfactory senses, which helps in evaluating the presence of illicit substances. However, there have been instances where canines are signaling the presence of narcotics when they are not there. This study aimed to analyze how active odorants transport from one area to another. Direct Analysis in Real-Time coupled to a high-resolution mass spectrometer (DART-MS) was used to analyze, in real-time, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of two narcotic substances: cocaine and methamphetamine. This study found that the transfer of VOCs from these narcotics does occur. Methyl benzoate was detected at 39.3 ± 3.2 s after exposure from 3 meters away, whereas benzaldehyde was detected at 43.3 ± 0.6 s from the same distance. The guidelines used for canine certification should be revisited to account for these results to lower or eliminate unconfirmed alerts by canines. Full article
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9 pages, 304 KiB  
Article
Influence of Attitudes toward Violence and Motor Impulsiveness on the Violent Behavior of Adolescents at School
by David Pina, José Jiménez-Barbero, Cecília Calero-Mora, Esteban Puente-Lopez, José António Ruiz-Hernández, Inmaculada Galián-Muñoz, Laura Llor-Zaragoza and Maria Vidal-Alves
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 253-261; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010019 - 02 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2423
Abstract
Background: School violence during adolescence has become a major issue worldwide. Both impulsiveness and adolescents’ attitudes toward violence will influence violent behavior against peers at school. Our objective is to study the influence of motor impulsiveness and attitudes on adolescents’ violent behavior at [...] Read more.
Background: School violence during adolescence has become a major issue worldwide. Both impulsiveness and adolescents’ attitudes toward violence will influence violent behavior against peers at school. Our objective is to study the influence of motor impulsiveness and attitudes on adolescents’ violent behavior at school, as well as to assess sex and age differences. Methods: Cluster sampling was performed, obtaining a sample of 513 adolescents between 13 and 19 years from four centers of secondary education. Results: A strong relationship is found between violent school behavior, defined as relational and overt aggression, and attitudes towards violence perceived as legitimate defense and violence used to cope with problems and social relations. The results showed significant sex differences favoring the boys in all the variables studied, except for motor impulsiveness and relational aggression. In terms of age, we found significant differences only for motor impulsiveness, favoring the older age group (≥15 years). The current findings may provide an important core of evidence to support forensic decision making in pre-trial and court settings, and further contribute to recidivism prevention. Full article
15 pages, 330 KiB  
Review
The Identified Osteological Collections of South America and Their Ethical Dimensions
by Cláudia R. Plens, Katarzyna Górka and Yuli Andrea Lopez Quintero
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 238-252; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010018 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2696
Abstract
Recent years have brought an important increase in the interest in identified human osteological collections in South America. Their number has been systematically growing and their sizes have been expanding, allowing the development of the field of forensic anthropology, among other disciplines, in [...] Read more.
Recent years have brought an important increase in the interest in identified human osteological collections in South America. Their number has been systematically growing and their sizes have been expanding, allowing the development of the field of forensic anthropology, among other disciplines, in this region. These collections are used mainly for the validation of international forensic anthropology methods for national and local populations, as well as for the training of professionals and researchers. Despite their growth, important limitation related to the lack of variability in the representativeness of individuals within these collections represents a significant drawback. Likewise, their concentration in only a few countries constitutes a noteworthy concern. This article aims at mapping the existing identified human osteological collections in South America, discussing the advances in the area of forensic anthropology that they have allowed, and reflecting upon their ethical dimensions in the South American context. Full article
16 pages, 943 KiB  
Article
Post-Mortem Quantitation of Amphetamine in Cadaveric Fluids in Saudi Arabia
by Ahmed I. Al-Asmari, Faiz D. Al-Solami, Abdulnasser E. Al-Zahrani and Torki A. Zughaibi
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 222-237; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010017 - 01 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3788
Abstract
Amphetamine abuse is a known problem in Saudi Arabia; it is estimated that 40% of drug abusers misuse amphetamines. Here, our aim was to perform an up-to-date epidemiological study of amphetamine-related postmortem cases in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in which 235 postmortem cases were [...] Read more.
Amphetamine abuse is a known problem in Saudi Arabia; it is estimated that 40% of drug abusers misuse amphetamines. Here, our aim was to perform an up-to-date epidemiological study of amphetamine-related postmortem cases in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in which 235 postmortem cases were included. The largest number of cases was recorded for the groups aged between 31 and 40 years (86 cases) and the lowest number of cases was recorded for the group aged between 61 and 70 years old (5 cases). Amphetamine was co-ingested with other drug(s) in 55% of the total cases (blood with sodium fluoride (BN), median, 0.3 mg/L). Approximately 23% of all deaths were due to other co-ingested drugs (BN, median, 0.2 mg/L). Amphetamines alone were detected in 107 cases, (BN, median, 0.5 mg/L). Amphetamine was the sole cause of death in 16% of the studied cases (BN, median, 1.0 mg/L). The combination of amphetamine and a pre-existing disease were observed in 9.4% of all deaths (BN, median, 0.7 mg/L). The causes of death were determined to be accidental in the majority (47%) of cases, homicides in 26% of cases, suicides in 11% of cases, and unknown in 7% of cases. This is the first discussion of the amphetamine concentration in bile in amphetamine-related deaths, the relationship between amphetamine concentration in different bodily fluids, and the amphetamine concentration in putrefied corpses. This study concluded that amphetamine abuse in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, increased over 400% between 2012 and 2018, and 41% of these cases involved violence. This result also suggests that preventive programs targeting youth and adolescent students are required to keep schools and universities free from drugs, especially amphetamines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Forensic Sciences in 2022)
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21 pages, 1247 KiB  
Article
Forensic Analysis of the Bumble Dating App for Android
by António Barros, Rafaela Almeida, Tiézer Melo and Miguel Frade
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 201-221; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010016 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 8615
Abstract
Mobile applications that facilitate interaction between people have grown in popularity and, as a result, the number of e-dating applications have expanded. In these types of applications, there is usually a trade-off between user privacy and safety. On one hand, users want to [...] Read more.
Mobile applications that facilitate interaction between people have grown in popularity and, as a result, the number of e-dating applications have expanded. In these types of applications, there is usually a trade-off between user privacy and safety. On one hand, users want to keep their data as private as possible, on the other hand, user identification forces accountability, which, hopefully, will foster the development of responsible behaviors and minimize abuses. The Bumble e-dating app has been growing in popularity and differs from other apps by giving women the power to make the first contact after a match. Their main goal is to prevent women’s harassment. In this work, we study the digital artifacts that can be found after the use of the Bumble app on Android devices. Despite applying many measures to ensure data protection, it was possible to obtain information that identifies users and exchanged messages. The data structure stored on the device is described, as well as the artifacts with forensic value for an investigation. Moreover, a script was created to parse and visualize the main forensic artifacts of the Bumble app. Full article
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11 pages, 2753 KiB  
Article
Correlations of Autopsy and Postmortem CT in Fatal Ballistic Injuries
by Pierre Gach, Lucile Tuchtan, Julien Mancini, Clémence Delteil, Pierre Massiani, Christophe Bartoli, Marie-Dominique Piercecchi and Guillaume Gorincour
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 190-200; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010015 - 26 Feb 2022
Viewed by 3527
Abstract
Purpose: To study the respective contributions and correlations of autopsy and PMCT in fatal ballistic injuries. Methods: A single-center retrospective descriptive study was carried out over a 10-years period (2008–2017) that included cases of fatal ballistic injuries that had undergone unenhanced PMCT followed [...] Read more.
Purpose: To study the respective contributions and correlations of autopsy and PMCT in fatal ballistic injuries. Methods: A single-center retrospective descriptive study was carried out over a 10-years period (2008–2017) that included cases of fatal ballistic injuries that had undergone unenhanced PMCT followed by autopsy. In addition to demographics, the main data collected independently at autopsy and PMCT were the number of injuries, their trajectory, distances from the sole of the feet of the entry and exit wounds, projectile caliber and gunshot residue, detailed examination of the injuries, and detection of effusions. Results: Initially, 225 cases were included, of which 158 complete records were analyzed. The mean age of the victims was 41.5 years, and 93% were male. PMCT and autopsy findings were concordant concerning the number of injuries, their trajectory, and distance of the entry and exit wounds from the sole of the feet. Findings were not concordant regarding gunshot residues on the skin (autopsy more efficient) or detection of effusions (PMCT more efficient). The limitations of PMCT were the positioning of the limbs outside the field of acquisition and the impossibility of reliably determining the caliber of the projectiles. Some discrepancies were related to occasionally missing autopsy data, particularly the distance from the sole of the feet or measurements of the volume of effusion. Conclusions: This study provides more detailed knowledge of the accordance of autopsy and PMCT in analyzing fatal ballistic injuries. Full article
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15 pages, 3073 KiB  
Article
The Andronowski Skeletal Collection for Histological Research: A Modern Anatomical Contribution
by Janna M. Andronowski and Joshua T. Taylor
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 175-189; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010014 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3110
Abstract
The Andronowski Skeletal Collection for Histological Research (ASCHR) comprises the fastest-growing documented modern human skeletal collection in the world developed specifically for histological and imaging research. Initiated in 2017 by Dr. Janna M. Andronowski, the ASCHR provides a resource for the study of [...] Read more.
The Andronowski Skeletal Collection for Histological Research (ASCHR) comprises the fastest-growing documented modern human skeletal collection in the world developed specifically for histological and imaging research. Initiated in 2017 by Dr. Janna M. Andronowski, the ASCHR provides a resource for the study of skeletal microarchitectural variability with advancing age and between the sexes. The primary objective is to use this unique skeletal archive for histological and imaging research, with the goal of furthering knowledge of human bone biology. Bone procurement has focused on two sites commonly used in histological age-at-death estimation in anthropology: the mid-shaft sixth rib and femoral mid-shaft. The ASCHR consists of over 1200 bone samples from 621 individuals and thousands of imaging files, with age-at-death ranging from 15–105 years. Additional information collected about ASCHR donors includes occupational history; alcohol, tobacco, and drug use history; a health questionnaire; and cause and manner of death. The ASCHR offers a novel opportunity to devise regression formulae for histological age-at-death estimation and answer questions concerning age-related microarchitectural changes and biomechanical processes. It further serves as a skeletal reference database for researchers from various disciplines, including medicine, anthropology, and the biological sciences. Here, we describe the background of the collection, ethical considerations, bone procurement processes, demographic composition, and existing imaging and histological data available to researchers. Our primary aims are to (1) introduce the scientific community to ASCHR, (2) present descriptive and demographic information regarding the collection, and (3) encourage collaboration among national and international researchers interested in human skeletal biology. Full article
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12 pages, 446 KiB  
Review
Postmortem Interval Estimation: New Approaches by the Analysis of Human Tissues and Microbial Communities’ Changes
by Sara C. Zapico and Joe Adserias-Garriga
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 163-174; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010013 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 7407
Abstract
There are several methodologies available to estimate time since death based on different changes that a corpse undergoes after death. However, these methods are imprecise due to the decomposition process being affected by several factors, principally temperature and humidity. Current trends for the [...] Read more.
There are several methodologies available to estimate time since death based on different changes that a corpse undergoes after death. However, these methods are imprecise due to the decomposition process being affected by several factors, principally temperature and humidity. Current trends for the determination of the Postmortem Interval (PMI) attempt to estimate the PMI in a quantifiable manner, based on chemical changes on and in the body, summarized in the field of “thanatochemistry”. Although these methodologies have improved PMI estimates, additional research has been developed to increase the accuracy and precision of this determination. As a result, the fields of “thanatobiology” and “thanatomicrobiome” have emerged. Thanatobiology is based on the estimation of the PMI from DNA/RNA degradation, signaling pathways of cell death, and protein analysis. Thanatomicrobiome refers to changes in the bacterial communities as a consequence of the decomposition process. Although both approaches seem to improve PMI estimates, applications of thanatobiology methodologies are more appropriate in the first phases of decomposition, while thanatomicrobiome analyses are applicable in advanced stages. Further research is needed in these new fields in order to establish their applicability in forensic cases. This is a review of the current state-of-the-art methodology in these two subfields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Advances in Postmortem Interval Estimation)
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8 pages, 1032 KiB  
Case Report
Klippel–Feil Syndrome: The Curious Case of the Skeleton of a Young Slavic Soldier Who Died in 1946
by Alessia Leggio, Massimo Gallieni, Pasquale Puzo, Francesco Introna and Sara Sablone
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 155-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010012 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2922
Abstract
This paper describes the curious case history of the famous and rare Klippel Feil syndrome type II, identified in the skeleton of a young Slavic soldier who died in 1946. It is a very interesting case given the fusion of the C1 and [...] Read more.
This paper describes the curious case history of the famous and rare Klippel Feil syndrome type II, identified in the skeleton of a young Slavic soldier who died in 1946. It is a very interesting case given the fusion of the C1 and C2 cervical vertebrae, which prevented the young soldier from rotating his skull while alive. Klippel–Feil syndrome is a rare osteopathology and involves fusion of the vertebrae of the spine and is linked to other pathologies that indicate the presence of this pathological condition. In the present study, several basic investigations were carried out: a macroscopic observation to document the abnormalities throughout the rest of the skeleton, a morphological one to determine the identifying anthropological analysis, a pathological one to determine the pathologies present and a radiographic one to diagnose and confirm the pathology. Studying the pathologies of the past is fundamental in order to know the evolution and behaviour of the disease today, and the investigations carried out in this case study determined what the limitations of the young soldier were, how this disease may have influenced his activities as a soldier during World War II and through which therapies the syndrome may have been treated in such an important historical period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Forensic Sciences in 2022)
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11 pages, 4170 KiB  
Case Report
Rare Complications of Fatal Caffeine Intoxication
by Michał Szeremeta, Adam Sackiewicz, Petra Drobuliak, Joanna Reszeć-Giełażyn and Anna Niemcunowicz-Janica
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 144-154; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010011 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2889
Abstract
Many dietary supplements may contain harmful ingredients or compounds. One of them is caffeine, a stimulant that has been utilized globally for centuries, primarily for its ability to improve mental alertness. This report described a case involving a young woman who most likely [...] Read more.
Many dietary supplements may contain harmful ingredients or compounds. One of them is caffeine, a stimulant that has been utilized globally for centuries, primarily for its ability to improve mental alertness. This report described a case involving a young woman who most likely intentionally took an energy booster containing pure caffeine. Gross and microscopic examination showed extensive necrotic changes with esophageal perforation in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Harmful contents have moved to the posterior mediastinum and the left pleural cavity, causing injuries within them. Postmortem toxicological tests (gas chromatography with the mass detector—GC-MS) have shown the presence of lethal levels of caffeine in the blood (92.0 ug/mL). The remaining toxicological tests were negative. Full article
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14 pages, 2371 KiB  
Article
Profiling of Successional Microbial Community Structure and Composition to Identify Exhumed Gravesoil—A Preliminary Study
by Ayodeji O Olakanye and T. Komang Ralebitso-Senior
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 130-143; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010010 - 07 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Advancements in molecular microbial ecology techniques have enabled researchers to study the complex interactions of epinecrobiome, necrobiome, and thanatomicrobiome communities during cadaver decomposition within novel forensic disciplines. This preliminary study tracks shifts in subsurface soil necrobiome as indicators of time-since-exhumation where whole juvenile [...] Read more.
Advancements in molecular microbial ecology techniques have enabled researchers to study the complex interactions of epinecrobiome, necrobiome, and thanatomicrobiome communities during cadaver decomposition within novel forensic disciplines. This preliminary study tracks shifts in subsurface soil necrobiome as indicators of time-since-exhumation where whole juvenile Sus scrofa domesticus was used as the human cadaver proxy. Principal component analysis of DGGE-based diversity index (Shannon-Weiner, H; Simpson (D)) measurements showed more consistent delineation of pre- and post-exhumation periods of the fungal 18S gene with further clustering for days 270 and 300. More importantly, high-resolution metabarcoding of the 16S rRNA gene recorded temporal bacterial clock indicators at order and family levels. Specifically, Xanthomonadales (11.29%) and Xanthomonadaceae (4.27%), and Verrucomicrobiaceae (4.00%) were abundance-based season (spring–summer) and microbial clock indicators for post-burial interval (PBI) ≥ 150 days. Hydrogenophilales (7.13%) and Hydrogenophilaceae (7.56%), Clostridiales (4.57%) and Clostridiaceae_1 (3.13%), and Bacteroidales (3.33%) defined the impacts of 120 days since exhumation of Sus scrofa domesticus. They could, therefore, be tracked to identify grave emptying for the current soil type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Forensic Sciences in 2022)
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19 pages, 1559 KiB  
Article
A Conceptual Framework to Improve Cyber Forensic Administration in Industry 5.0: Qualitative Study Approach
by Amr Adel
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 111-129; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010009 - 03 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4022
Abstract
As organizations strive to be compliant in a digitally evolving world, they need to ensure that they are forensically ready. Digital forensic readiness ensures compliance in legal, regulatory, functional, and operational structures. A literature review revealed a gap in detailed and comprehensive guidance [...] Read more.
As organizations strive to be compliant in a digitally evolving world, they need to ensure that they are forensically ready. Digital forensic readiness ensures compliance in legal, regulatory, functional, and operational structures. A literature review revealed a gap in detailed and comprehensive guidance on how such readiness ought to be accomplished. This is as a result of unfamiliar concepts and terms that revolve around digital forensic readiness. This research paper highlights and elaborates on a framework that can be achieved from research within focus groups. The insights drawn from the focus groups are used to critically assess the issues affecting practitioners in achieving complete digital forensic readiness. Full article
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4 pages, 2392 KiB  
Case Report
A Suicide Attempt with a Velo-Dog Pocket Revolver in an Alleged Victim of Carjacking
by Carlos Durão and Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 107-110; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010008 - 02 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2559
Abstract
In hospital emergencies, we can have the most picturesque and impressive cases, from the simplest to the most complex. Violence cases are not rare, and among these are the injuries caused by firearms, which may vary in severity depending on the affected region [...] Read more.
In hospital emergencies, we can have the most picturesque and impressive cases, from the simplest to the most complex. Violence cases are not rare, and among these are the injuries caused by firearms, which may vary in severity depending on the affected region and the energy of the projectile. Head injuries are generally very serious, and it is rare the individuals survival without sequelae. This work reports a 38-year-old man who was admitted to the emergency room alone in the morning, walking, lucid, and oriented, mentioning that the night before he was in the car and that he had been shot in the head in an attempt at carjacking. On examination, he had only one entry wound in the right temporal region, and the history revealed a suicide attempt with a very rare firearm: a Velo-Dog. We hypothesized that the low-density energy of this revolver, which historically used to be carried by cyclists as a defense against dog attacks, may partially explains the non-skull penetration. Full article
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19 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
A Digital Forensic View of Windows 10 Notifications
by Patrício Domingues, Luís Andrade and Miguel Frade
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 88-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010007 - 31 Jan 2022
Viewed by 5314
Abstract
Windows Push Notifications (WPN) is a relevant part of Windows 10 interaction with the user. It is comprised of badges, tiles and toasts. Important and meaningful data can be conveyed by notifications, namely by so-called toasts that can popup with information regarding a [...] Read more.
Windows Push Notifications (WPN) is a relevant part of Windows 10 interaction with the user. It is comprised of badges, tiles and toasts. Important and meaningful data can be conveyed by notifications, namely by so-called toasts that can popup with information regarding a new incoming email or a recent message from a social network. In this paper, we analyze the Windows 10 Notification systems from a digital forensic perspective, focusing on the main forensic artifacts conveyed by WPN. We also briefly analyze Windows 11 first release’s WPN system, observing that internal data structures are practically identical to Windows 10. We provide an open source Python 3 command line application to parse and extract data from the Windows Push Notification SQLite3 database, and a Jython module that allows the well-known Autopsy digital forensic software to interact with the application and thus to also parse and process Windows Push Notifications forensic artifacts. From our study, we observe that forensic data provided by WPN are scarce, although they still need to be considered, namely if traditional Windows forensic artifacts are not available. Furthermore, toasts are clearly WPN’s most relevant source of forensic data. Full article
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16 pages, 8349 KiB  
Article
Detection of Single Burials Using Multispectral Drone Data: Three Case Studies
by Benjamin Rocke and Alastair Ruffell
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 72-87; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010006 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3694
Abstract
Natural burials are interments where a body is buried without embalming fluids or coffins. These burial grounds are ideal locations for retrospective multispectral analysis of non-conventional single burials as the age and location of each grave is documented. The detection of disturbed soil [...] Read more.
Natural burials are interments where a body is buried without embalming fluids or coffins. These burial grounds are ideal locations for retrospective multispectral analysis of non-conventional single burials as the age and location of each grave is documented. The detection of disturbed soil under the influence of human decomposition has been well-studied, but lacks the temporal component needed for characterising simulated clandestine burials. A critical gap in the literature is how these burials re-vegetate and to what extent soil profiles re-establish over years or decades. Multispectral drone data from three natural burial sites in southern U.K. are documented here, with trends in re-vegetation from bare soil to full recovery in graves as old as 2005. As with many burial detection techniques, environmental influence is a limiting variable to universal use of this method. However, we suggest a timeline over which single burial sites in this location reach detection limits and possible reasons for variations in these limits. Full article
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15 pages, 4648 KiB  
Article
Soil Colour and Plant-Wax Markers: Application in Forensic Investigations under Urban Subtropical Environments
by Samara Testoni, Lorna Dawson, Vander Melo, Josiane Lopes-Mazzetto, Bruna Ramalho and Fábio Salvador
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 57-71; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010005 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3152
Abstract
Most cases involving soil in criminal investigations in Brazil have focused on the chemical and mineralogical analyses of soil fractions without including the organic matter. The organic fraction contains plant-wax markers which may be useful to “fingerprint” forensic soils due to their chemical [...] Read more.
Most cases involving soil in criminal investigations in Brazil have focused on the chemical and mineralogical analyses of soil fractions without including the organic matter. The organic fraction contains plant-wax markers which may be useful to “fingerprint” forensic soils due to their chemical diversity, relative longevity and resistant nature. The aim of this study was to test the long- (kilometre), medium- (metre) and short- (centimetre) scale variability of plant-wax biomarkers in a forensic context in anthropised urban soils and soils developed under subtropical conditions. Two areas from the Curitiba municipality and two areas from the Colombo municipality, Paraná State, South Brazil, were selected. Soil colour analysis was carried out to obtain reflectance data over the 360–740 nm wavelength range. Furthermore, plant-wax marker compounds (n-alkanes and fatty-alcohols) were assessed by extraction and separation into different classes and an analysis of the compounds by gas chromatography (GC/MS). The compositions of the wax-marker profiles were different in samples collected side-by-side, showing sensitivity to local variations under subtropical conditions and in areas under intense human urban disturbance. Under these conditions, biomarkers may be used in real crime scenes, even on a micrometric scale of variation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Geoscience and Death Investigations)
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20 pages, 23303 KiB  
Article
The Scientific Profiles of Documented Collections via Publication Data: Past, Present, and Future Directions in Forensic Anthropology
by Francisca Alves-Cardoso and Vanessa Campanacho
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 37-56; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010004 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4286
Abstract
Human osteological documented collections (DCs), also referred to as “identified collections”, are a valuable resource in biological and forensic anthropology, as they offer the possibility for hypothesis-driven research on sex and age-at-death estimation methods, human variability, and other morphometric-based parameters of individual identification. [...] Read more.
Human osteological documented collections (DCs), also referred to as “identified collections”, are a valuable resource in biological and forensic anthropology, as they offer the possibility for hypothesis-driven research on sex and age-at-death estimation methods, human variability, and other morphometric-based parameters of individual identification. Consequently, they feature in many publications addressing the forensic sciences. The paper aims to explore the scientific profiles of DCs via publication using bibliometric data. The Dimensions databases were used to select the DC-related keywords in the title and abstracts of the publications. The search result analysis and extraction were conducted using VOSviewer. A total of 376 articles were found, published between 1969 and 2021 (November). The number of publications has increased over the years, specifically after 2011. The results show that most of the publications are associated with countries such as the United States and Portugal (the latter highlights the University of Coimbra), that the research tends to focus on human biological profiling (e.g., age, sex assessments), and that the journals with the highest numbers of publications were related to forensic sciences. This analysis shows a positive correlation between DC publications and the growth of forensic anthropology in recent years, with a slight shift towards the leading institutions that publish DC-based research. Hence, we can anticipate a change in the institutional leading profiles in the years to come. Full article
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17 pages, 9011 KiB  
Article
The Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database (SVAD): An Accessible Repository of Contemporary Subadult Reference Data
by Kyra E. Stull and Louise K. Corron
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 20-36; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010003 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4833
Abstract
The Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database (SVAD) is the largest available repository of contemporary (2010–2019) subadult reference data from around the world. It is composed of data collected from individuals aged between birth and 22 years. Data were collected from skeletal remains (n [...] Read more.
The Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database (SVAD) is the largest available repository of contemporary (2010–2019) subadult reference data from around the world. It is composed of data collected from individuals aged between birth and 22 years. Data were collected from skeletal remains (n = 43, Colombia) and medical images (n = 4848) generated at medical examiner’s offices in the United States (full-body Computed Tomography (CT) scans), hospitals in France, The Netherlands, Taiwan (region-specific CT scans), and South Africa (full-body Lodox Statscans), a private clinic in Angola (region-specific conventional radiographs), and a dental practice in Brazil (panoramic radiographs). Available derivatives include individual demographics (age, sex) with standardized skeletal and/or dental growth and development indicators for all individuals from all samples, and segmented long bone and innominate surfaces from the CT scan samples. Standardized protocols for data collection are provided for download and derivatives are freely accessible for researchers and students. Full article
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13 pages, 1296 KiB  
Article
The Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection at the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State
by Timothy P. Gocha, Sophia R. Mavroudas and Daniel J. Wescott
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 7-19; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010002 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4360
Abstract
The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) began accepting whole-body donations for scientific research and educational purposes under the Texas Anatomical Gift Act in 2008. Research conducted with donated whole bodies involves studies in taphonomy and human decomposition, including reconstructing the postmortem [...] Read more.
The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) began accepting whole-body donations for scientific research and educational purposes under the Texas Anatomical Gift Act in 2008. Research conducted with donated whole bodies involves studies in taphonomy and human decomposition, including reconstructing the postmortem interval. Following decomposition, the skeletal elements of all donors are collected, cleaned, and permanently curated into the Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection (TXSTDSC), which is used for teaching and research by faculty and students at Texas State but is also open to external researchers. To date, FACTS has received 710 donors. Fifty-eight percent of donors are male and 42% are female. Donor ages range from 21 weeks’ gestation to 103 years old at the time of death, with a mean of 66 years, and a median of 68 years. Based on self-identified or family-identified ancestry, 90% of donors are White, 4.5% are Hispanic, 3% are Black, less than 2% are of mixed ancestry, and less than 1% are Asian or Native American. Information collected about each donor includes geographic/residential history; occupational history; socioeconomic status; anthropometrics; parity status; alcohol, tobacco, and drug use history; mobility status; an overall health questionnaire; cause and manner of death. Full article
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6 pages, 3192 KiB  
Case Report
A Case of Fatal Asphyxia by a Barbell during a Bench Press
by Risa Bandou, Nozomi Idota, Yoshihisa Akasaka and Hiroshi Ikegaya
Forensic Sci. 2022, 2(1), 1-6; https://doi.org/10.3390/forensicsci2010001 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 10496
Abstract
The bench press is a widespread form of weight training with few scientific reports on its associated fatalities. We herein report a case of an individual performing bench press training who was found deceased in a supine position on the bench with the [...] Read more.
The bench press is a widespread form of weight training with few scientific reports on its associated fatalities. We herein report a case of an individual performing bench press training who was found deceased in a supine position on the bench with the shaft of the barbell resting on his neck. The bench press safety bars were set at bench height. On the basis of the postmortem computed tomography imaging and the autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be fatal traumatic asphyxia caused by a cervical compression. We wish to highlight the importance of correctly using safety devices during weight training as well as the need for developing and disseminating safe equipment that is not dependent on the manner of use. We also wish to highlight the need for a form of legal regulation on the design of devices. Full article
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