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In this case, police and scene investigators were suspicious that this individual was killed by blunt force injuries to the head, so the hands were bagged and the case handled as a homicide. The cause of death was coronary artery disease, and these are the changes of decomposition. Decomposition: discoloration and swelling of tissues of the face, mimicking blunt force injury and “purging” of dark fluids resembling dark blood. Postmortem production of gas by bacteria causes swelling and discoloration of tissues. The gas forces dark, decomposing fluids out of the mouth and nose. These signs can resemble blunt force injuries to the untrained eye.

Fig.1 Decomposition & bagged hands.

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