<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 31, Issue 2, June 2023

Rom J Leg Med31(2)203-212(2023)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine


C. C. Radu, P. R. Adi, V. C. Răuță, D. I. Biriș, L. Chinezu, C. I. Biriș

Abstract: Suicide by intraoral explosion of pyrotechnic materials is rarely described in the international literature, occupying the lowest position in terms of fatalities from explosions following terrorist attacks and accidental deaths. The approach in these cases should primarily exclude other causes of death, whose tanatogenic injuries may be masked by blast trauma. We present the case of a man found dead with severe open craniofacial trauma and multiple viscero-cranial fractures. On-site investigation reveals no signs of forced entry, a handwritten note, the presence of a firecracker in the nightstand drawer, dust on the wall and cardboard fragments beneath blankets, as well as the presence of bloodstains. Considering the asymmetric distribution, the vital/non-vital nature of the injuries, and the regular/irregular shape, along with the histopathological absence of burn injuries and the negative response to diphenylamine reaction, the necropsy findings cannot exclude the possibility of homicide by repeated direct blows with a hard-splitting object. The on-site investigation portrays the scene of a suicide through an explosion mechanism using a pyrotechnic device applied in the oral cavity, with discrepancies between the position of the corpse, bloodstains, and wall marks resulting from firecracker explosion. Detailed autopsy examination and the use of complementary histopathological and forensic examinations in such atypical cases are not sufficient to determine the manner of death. It is crucial to conduct a comprehensive and meticulous on-site investigation, necessarily involving the participation of a forensic pathologist, and to correlate the investigation data with the findings of the autopsy report.
Keywords: on-site investigation, suicide, homicide, dissimulation, explosion, firecracker.

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