Human decay

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The “buried body decay” is studied in conditions of entrapment in collapsed buildings; domestic pigs are used as surrogate bodies to study the early stages of body decay. The combination of chemical and optical methods for detection and monitoring is proving to be very useful and informative, uncovering hidden aspects of the early stages of decay and also guiding the development of combined chemical and imaging methods for the detection of dead bodies.

 

Visible and thermal images (a colored and a black-and-white image) of the early stages of pig decay are presented in the 5th day. In the colored image, the colder areas are represented by blue, warmer areas are represented by green and the warmest areas are shown in red. In the black-and-white thermal image the colder areas are shown in black and the warmer areas in white (warmer).


Publications:

 

  • M. Statheropoulos, A. Agapiou, E. Zorba, K. Mikedi, S. Karma, G.C. Pallis, C. Eliopoulos, C. Spiliopoulou, “Combined chemical and optical methods for monitoring the  early decay stages of surrogate human models”, Forensic Science International 210 (2011) 154-163.
  • M. Statheropoulos, A. Agapiou, C. Spiliopoulou, G.C. Pallis, E. Sianos, "Environmental aspects of VOCs evolved in the early stages of human decomposition" Science of the Total Environment 385 (2007) 221–227
  • M. Statheropoulos, C. Spiliopoulou, A. Agapiou, "A study of volatile organic compounds evolved from the decaying human body" Forensic Science International 153 (2005) 147–155

 

Conference presentations

 

  • Agapios Agapiou, Eleni Zorba, Katerina Mikedi, Stamatis Giannoukos, George C. Pallis, Ruairi McEntee, Victor Moll, Chara Spiliopoulou, Milt Statheropoulos, “Field detection of mammalian decomposition VOCs”, 21th International Conference On-Site Analysis for Homeland Security, Forensics and Environmental Remediation, January 23-25, 2013, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.
  • E. Zorba, A. Agapiou, K. Moraitis, M. Statheropoulos, C. Spiliopoulou “A study of the chemical profile of decomposition using pig carcasses”, 22nd Congress of the International Academy of Legal Medicine, IALM 2012, July 5-8 2012, Istanbul, Turkey. (Poster)
  • M. Statheropoulos, A. Agapiou, K. Mikedi, S. Karma, G.C. Pallis, “Modern analytical tools for monitoring the early decay of surrogate human models”, 19th International Conference On-Site Analysis for Homeland Security, Forensics and Environmental Remediation, January 18-21, 2011, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
  • C. Eliopoulos, K. Moraitis, C. Spiliopoulou, M. Statheropoulos, A. Agapiou, “Forensic and disaster applications of volatile organic compounds analysis in decaying human bodies: bioethical issues”, XXI Congress of the International Academy of Legal Medicine (IALM), 28-30 May 2009, Lisbon, Portugal.