NEARLY 70 decomposing bodies were left to rot in garbage cans and suitcases in a chilling setting that resembled a horror movie – but for a very important reason.
All of this was part of a scientific study designed to help crime scene investigators around the world understand the decomposition process of human remains.
The world’s largest experiment in decomposing remains used nearly 70 piglets housed in either a trolley or suitcase – while some served as controls and were exposed to the elements.
The decomposing corpses have been lying in the 20°C temperature range in Western Australia’s bushveld for over a month.
Scientists regularly tested the temperature and humidity inside and outside the containers and crates to gauge how the bodies were affected.
Microbiological and chemical changes in the remains were studied, as well as the effects of insects colonizing the carcass.
It is hoped the gruesome study will aid forensic scientists working on murder investigations involving decomposing human remains.
Paola Magni, Lecturer in Forensics at Murdoch University, describes these hidden locations as “restricted access environments”.
She explained: “This is happening because the perpetrators are trying to avoid easy detection by the authorities and/or because they need somewhere to temporarily store and transport the body from location to location: from the primary crime scene where the Death Event/Murder occurs at the secondary crime scene where the body is left or discovered.
“Last year the remains of a man were found in a rubbish bin dumped in a dam near Perth and a few weeks ago the remains of two children were found in two suitcases in New Zealand, confirming that this type of research is urgently needed.”
dr Magni said, “Time is of the essence in reconstructing events to locate people, places and motives.”
She says the forensic pathologist has a very short window of about three days after death to set a schedule
However, insects found in the body can provide information days, months, and even years after death.
The study will help “provide understanding of insect succession in an environment with limited access to new information to add to the forensic entomologist’s toolbox.”
Only three other similar studies were conducted in the Worldincluding one in the US and UK, according to Dr. Magni.
She said the data currently available is not good enough to support criminal investigations into bodies found in suitcases and other surroundings such as garbage cans.
Findings will be released at a forensic science conference in February 2023.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9424413/bodies-rot-suitcases-wheelie-bins-bizarre-reason/ Seventy corpses rotting away in suitcases and garbage cans — but there’s a bizarre reason for that