Kantonsspital St.Gallen
login

Estimating the postmortem interval of human skeletal remains by analyzing their optical behavior

Vera Sterzik, Timo Jung, Katharina Jellinghaus & Michael Bohnert

abstract The aim of this study was to figure out a new practically
applicable method to distinguish between historical and
recent human skeletal remains. Therefore, the optical behavior
of bone cross sections was investigated using the combination
of two methods: a modification of an already established test
(UV-induced fluorescence) and a new method (490 nm-induced
fluorescence). We evaluated the areal extent of fluorescence
of 30 bone cross sections with known postmortem
interval (PMI) using ultraviolet light and 490 nm light. For
analysis, the areal extend of fluorescent surface was determined
using photos of the samples and an image editing
software. The results prove that there is a correlation between
PMI and the areal extent of fluorescent surface in
both tests. Furthermore, the combination of both methods
is a good indicator to distinguish within the forensic relevant
post mortem interval between PMI < 30 years and
PMI > 30 years.
   
keywords Lumatec Superlite 410 . Forensic light source .
Alternative light source (ALS) . Human skeletal remains .
Deathtime estimation .Postmorteminterval (PMI) .Luminol .
Forensic photography . Forensic osteology . Fluorescence
   
citation Sterzik V, Jung T, Jellinghaus K, Bohnert M. Estimating the postmortem interval of human skeletal remains by analyzing their optical behavior. Int J Legal Med 2016;.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 4-6-2016
journal title Int J Legal Med
DOI 10.1007/s00414-016-1395-3