The goal of this study is to assess the qualitative scoring of decomposition scales with statistical analysis while also determining which indoor environment will decompose the fastest. When comparing the three indoor environments, water decomposition appears to be the fastest, but the method of analysis for this study determines that using decomposition scales to analyze such environments may produce statistically insignificant results. For this study, piglets were put in a dry steel tub, a water filled steel tub, and a suitcase. These were recorded using photographs for 25 days and then scored using decomposition scales. The total score was divided by all points possible to show a percentage of decomposition and was compared between three different scales using statistical analysis. Therefore, relying on decomposition scales as the only forensic analysis for decomposition to observe how different environments affect cadavers may be problematic, as bodies found indoors tend to be in the early stages of decomposition. The statistical insignificance of the total body score further suggests decomposition scales and postmortem interval methods that use these scales should not be used alone for courtroom purposes, and medicolegal investigators need to apply other scientific methods in order to support their postmortem interval theory.
Abad Santos, Jacqueline
"Decomposition of Pig Carcasses at Varying Room Temperature,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science: Vol. 7
, Article 3.