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Inorganic elemental analysis of decomposition fluids of an in situ animal burial
- Dick, Henry C., Pringle, Jamie K.
- Forensic science international 2018 v.289 pp. 130-139
- humans, potassium, rain, sodium, sulfates, temporal variation
- In homicide investigations, it is critically important that post-mortem (PMI) and post-burial interval (PBI) of buried victims are determined accurately. However, clandestine graves can be difficult to locate; and the detection rates for a variety of search methods can be very low. This paper presents elemental analysis results of 18 months of decomposition fluids from an in situ buried animal cadaver used as a human clandestine burial proxy. Study results showed potassium, sulphate and sodium are key detectable elements which mirror observed conductivity temporal changes from this and other studies. Seasonal rainfall has a strong influence on both fluid generation and subsequent concentration which needs to be accounted for. Study implications suggest inorganic elements could provide both detection and potential dating of discovered clandestine burials.