<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 22, Issue 4, December 2014

Rom J Leg Med22(4)253-256(2014)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

The importance of collecting live fly larvae from a severely decomposed human cadaver in winter. Case report

M. Hitosugi, M. Kirinoki, K. Ishii, S. Morita, S. Furukawa, Y. Chigusa

Abstract: A severely decomposed cadaver was found in a snow-covered mountain forest on January 31, 2010. The cadaver, later identified as a 24-year-old Japanese man, was hanging from under a tree and consisted mainly of skeletal remains. At autopsy, dozens of larvae were observed around the inner cavity of the knee joint, and entomologically they were identified as the third instar larvae of the family Piophilidae (Diptera). It is interesting that the larvae were found alive at the autopsy in January when snow is present. The entomological information supports the information that the man had died around September 8 with the following reason: the location where the victim was found was too cold for the flies to have deposited their eggs; at the man’s death, the ambient temperature was enough high for flies to deposit their eggs; according to the gradual decrease of the ambient temperature, the larvae penetrated into deep lesion with feeding. This is a valuable case demonstrating that live larvae can be obtained from a severely decomposed cadaver found in winter and can support the information about the time of death. This report also validated the importance of collecting Piophilidae flies of severely decomposed cadavers in winter.
Keywords: fly larvae, winter, severely decomposed cadaver, forensic entomology, postmortem interval, autopsy.

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