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Decomposition - Unattended Death - Suicide as Unattended Death - Otzi the Homicide Victim

Decomposition

 

We use five terms to describe decomposition of a human body. Another term, putrefaction (autolysis), includes these five stages. Fresh, bloat, active decay. post or advanced decay, and dry skeletal remains. Any one of these stages occurs at its own pace relative to the decedent's health, diet, environment's temperature and humidity. Other sources include animal and insect visitors. Put another way, any two people will reach these five stages at different times, all things being equal. By far, temperature places us all in a similar rate of decomposition following death. Bacteria grow more quickly in warm conditions than cool conditions. An example of bacterial growth at death follows death by infection. Infected areas of the body, inside-out and outside-in, quicken decomposition with this onset of parasitical bacteria's head start.

Gravity begins pushing the cadaver's blood downward. Prominent bones begin to appear as skin looses its fullness with blood's draining into large veins. Liver mortis begins eight to twelve hours after death in most cases. As the body stiffens it becomes a rigor mortis condition. This condition lasts for 24 to 84 hours depending upon multiple factors. Rigor mortis does develop more quickly following death if the deceased worked heavily before death or cold environmental conditions exist. Without embalming the body quickly begins to decay, purify. Purification includes a discoloration of the lower stomach area as it turns a dark green. Dark colors begin to climb to the chest and a heavy odor permeates the air. This putrid odor has a sulphur-containing intestinal gas combined with the breakdown of red blood cells.

Odor signifies death to all around. Usually sulfuric and uric acid-like odors carry the heaviest decomposition related odors in the beginning. Because of rotting food and resident bacteria in the colon, purification proceeds quickly in warm weather. Bloating gases from blood saturation of tissue bloat the body. These gases sometimes force intestines out of the anus and vagina, adding to malodors. Eyes and tongue may also protrude. Colors once green become purple and then black. The nose, mouth, and other orifices become outlets for foul smelling blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Putrescine and cadverine add to this chemical mix mix.

Day seven often arrives with the decomposing body's skin erupting with putrid blood-tinged blisters. Sheets of skin easily slide off the body at this stage. During decomposition cleanup, it is not uncommon to find large sheets of skin sticking to sheets, couches, and other materials. We call this "skin slip).

Into the second week, swelling continues as more bloody fluid seeps out the mouth and nose. This time in decomposition readily allows for fluid migration across nonporous surfaces. From the middle of a kitchen or bathroom floor, fluids sometimes reach walls. Given the conditions, fluids may seep between walls and floors. It's not unusually for an easy death scene cleanup on a ceramic bathroom floor to escalate into a major cleaning and demolition effort. Poor grout and caulking leave rooms open to unnecessary damage during decomposition cleanup. See this decomposition cleanup in a second floor condominium that went from easy to difficult because of poor baseboard quality and poor caulking. (Gory suicide-decomposition at 2 days)

 

 

 

Unattended Death

 

Decompositions usually occur because of an unattended death.

The above slide show frames a death scene that occurred in biowaste - poop and urine. In essence, when I unraveled the meaning of this scene I realized that it was both a bio-hazard and bio-waste scene. It is good to know the difference between these two.

Bio-hazards tend to have blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) in or on them. Biowastes tends not to have blood or OPIM in or on them. Poop and urine are not biohazards unless blood is present in this type of biowaste.

A decomposition occurs when someone dies and is not found for a relative period of time. We say "relative" because the degree of decomposition depends upon many factors -- variables. Where was the deceased located? Whether indoors or outdoors can be very important for the state of decomposition.

If outdoors, the critters, including insects will have found the deceased early. Inside the critters are usually kept at bay, but not always. If flies were present inside the place of death, they will begin feeding on the first and last fluids that oozed from the deceased. Their maggot offspring will be apparent. Small to large quantities of the decomposition material may have been carried off by the flies for storing elsewhere, usually nearby.

What was the temperature? Inside or out, heat means an increased rate of decomposition. Humidity plays a role in odor issues, while water can also play a role. A submerged body will decay more slowly than one exposed to air because of oxidation above water.

The deceased's diet will play some role. A heavy drinker will decompose with a powerful odor, especially when red whine has played important role in their life-style. Vegetarians tend to decompose with a less repugnant odor, it seems. All of this seems to relate to the number and types of bacteria using the deceased as a host. Habitat created by one human's life-style may vary from that of other human's life-styles. The human gut contains, roughly, ten trillion bacterial. During decomposition they off-gas, which adds to the overall odor issues of the decaying deceased.

The four seasons play a major role in the USA, especially when buildings are open to ventilation or closed to ventilation. Indoors, a decomposition in Jackson Hole, Wyoming through December with a window open will take some time compared to a decomposition in Phoenix, Arizona during July with the windows closed.

Here is a slide show created from pictures of a decomposition in North Hollywood, California. The deceased was a large male, a mesamorph with a drinking life-style. It took about three weeks for a near total decomposition. Fluid made it to the walls because of the great amount of fluid, and the tight quarters of the bathroom. Also, water damage to the subfloor allowed for the effluents to migrate below the sub-floor. In this case, the effluents stopped before reaching the below apartment's ceiling. Had the deceased been using blood thinners, we may have had some serious issues with the below apartment's ceiling.

On this cleanup we were very thankful that the toilet worked very well. Viewers will note that the solution used was a bit too wet, causing cleaners to absorb more than is usually necessary.

Here, the effluents had dried to a moist, clay-like condition. At times, a flat shovel, not unlike a snow shovel, comes in handy for keeping distance from this waste material while scooping large quantities of it from the floor. A metal shovel can be disinfected rather easily once cleaned.

Good fortune showed its face on this job because the odor was fairly easily reduced with thorough cleaning inside the bathroom and adjoining hallway. Both areas were well sealed with Kilz water based sealer. At times, Zinnsser's oil based sealer is used, but it was not necessary here. Relatives and insurance were quite pleased that the bathroom's odor was reduced; odor issues remained in the living room, though. Ventilation was the key.

Suicide as Unattended Death

Suicides often take place without an audience. They also occur without any visitors showing up for days or weeks and even longer. So we have, in effect, and unattended death. Even some murders qualify as unattended deaths, but this subject takes to poisons and spring-loaded projectiles. Our concerns deal with the aftermath of death, decomposition cleanup

Suicide cleanup following the remains of an unattended death in the later stages of decomposition resembles its cousin, the unattended death. What we find in addition we call "arterial soiling" when an artery's severance lead to death. Then there's the biological debris caused by high velocity projectiles that send debris on a trajectory to far-off locations, even separate rooms. Add a revolving ceiling fan into the equation of a shotgun blast to the chin, then all sorts of possibilities arise.

 

 

 

 

Decomposition of 11 bodies lead the city of Cleveland to condemn the crime scene house.

 

In 2009 eleven women died at the hands of a crazy man. He "dumped" their remains around his house, around his property. As of October 2, the house's owner stands to loose his house. "Who would want it," I ask.

On November 9, 2009, this property's condition came to police attention when they arrived to investigate sexual assault charges. Apparently, the crime scene's perpetrator, Anthony Sowell, faces the death penalty today as a result of his murderous frenzy. This "House of Horrors," a three-story dilapidated Victorian model homes, resides in a ghetto-like environment.

The inevitability of demolishing this crime scene follows from its many structural, environmental, and biological issues. As crime scene cleanup of decomposition goes, it could be recovered. But, who would want it. From my experience, multiple death scenes homes do not sell well. In fact, finding a real estate broker to take on the sale of such homes creates a monumental task.

Also, many states have a law in place requiring disclosure of such horrific events. In effect, any death inside a house requires disclosure of death.

In a home with a good maintenance record, crime scene cleanup following decomposition of 11 bodies takes time. As for the horrific nature of such a task, it's not like a decomposition multiplied eleven times. Multiple death scene create a synergy of decomposition issues. For example, insect and animal life habitat grows from body to body. Where one species survives from one body alone, others travel between bodies.

Bacteria migrate in a similar fashion on these multiple decomposition cleanups. Eventually, given the time, the victim's fluids dry out, creating a much easier, safer cleaning environment for biohazard cleaners. On exception remains in place for an inordinate time: body fat. Given the size of victim's condition, drug abusers for some of these female victims, body fat remains as a jellylike substance, turning from a dark yellow toward a forbidding black substance for the uninitiated crime scene cleaner.

Be that as it may, such crime scene cleanup tasks should be completed in a timely manner. A festering biohazardous environment allows odors, insects, and animal life to annoy neighbors and others. With this said, on the one hand, finding a crime scene cleanup company usually means hiring a county employee controlled company. On the other hand, finding a crime scene cleanup company may mean hiring a crime scene cleanup company in control of a county employee. County government fraud, then, influences the cleanup of multiple death scenes contaminated by decomposition.

 

 

Otzi the Homicide Victim

We've heard and read stories about mummified remains without much shock and awe. Now there's Otzi, an unplaned, unheralded, homicide victim over 5,000 years old.

Against the odds, his remains underwent little decomposition because of his body's entomment in an Italian glacer.

 

Decomposition of 11 bodies lead the city of Cleveland to condemn the crime scene house.

In 2009 eleven women died at the hands of a crazy man. He "dumped" their remains around his house, around his property. As of October 2, the house's owner stands to loose his house. "Who would want it," I ask.

On November 9, 2009, this property's condition came to police attention when they arrived to investigate sexual assualt charges. Apparently, the crime scene's perpertrator, Anthony Sowell, faces the death penalty today as a result of his murderous frenay. This "House of Horrors," a three-story delapadated Victorian model homes, resides in a ghetto-like environment.

The inevitability of demolishing this crime scene follows from its many structural, environmental, and biological issues. As crime scene cleanup of decomposition goes, it could be recovered. But, who would want it. From my experience, multiple death scenes homes do not sell well. In fact, finding a real estate broaker to take on the sale of such homes creates a monumental task.

Also, many states have a law in place requiring disclosure of such horrific events. In effect, any death inside a house requires disclosure of death.

In a home with a good maintance record, crime scene cleanup following decompositoni of 11 bodies takes time. As for the horrific nature of such a task, it's not like a decomposition multiplied eleven times. Multiple death scene create a synergy of decomposition issues. For example, insect and animal life habitate grows from body to body. Where one species survives from one body alone, others travel between bodies.

Bateria migrate in a similar fashion on these multiple decomposition cleanups. Eventually, given the time, the victim's fluids dry out, creating a much easier, safer cleaning environment for biohazard cleaners. On exception remains in place for an inordinate time: body fat. Given the size of victim's condition, drug abusers for some of these female victims, body fat remains as a jello-like substance, turning from a dark yellow toward a forbidding black substance for the uninitated crime scene cleaner.

 

 

 

 

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