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San Fransisco, US – 2008. This individual had died and his body scavenged by animals postmortem, no further info. Postmortem animal interference of human corpses or remains is a well known phenomenon to forensic death investigators, the morphological appearance of these injuries can be misinterpreted by police officers investigating the suspected crime scene or by the consulted medical practitioner.

Fig.1 Injuries from scavenging on the face.

Fig.2 Side view of the injuries.

Death investigators should be aware of the following while undertaking a detailed assessment of the scene of questioned cases of postmortem animal interference: damage is primarily caused to the exposed areas of the body, no selfdefense injuries can be found on the deceased’s body, compared to the large defects a relatively small amount of blood or the total absence of bloodstains should be expected at the scene, possibly a spoor deriving from the animal’s paws can be detected in bloodstains, an inquiry of pets living free in the house or wild animals having possible access to the scene should be conducted and a careful look for animal faeces or rodents nests should be made.

Fig.3 Injuries from scavenging on the hand and fingers.

Fig.4 Bite marks.

Frequently the face, hands and legs are destroyed by postmortem animal interference as they are unclothed and thus easily accessible. However there are cases where such lesions having been noted in other areas of the body which have been covered by the cloths including genitals but they are rare.

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