Widya, Marcella, Moffatt, Colin and Simmons, Tal Linda Ileen
The Formation of Early Stage Adipocere in Submerged Remains: A Preliminary Experimental Study.
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57
In some circumstances, the presence of adipocere may retard decomposition and complicate postmortem interval estimation. This article explores the correlation between Accumulated Degree Days (ADD) and early stage formation of adipocere. Sixty wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) carcasses were used in this experiment; a control group (N = 30) deposited directly on the ground surface and an experimental group (N = 30) completely submersed in water in individual buckets. Data (water and inner body temperature, pH, and total body score) were collected every 100 ADD. Results indicated that early stage adipocere is correlated to ADD and that its formation on submersed remains is more likely to occur after 630 ADD. Skin sloughing promoted the formation of adipocere. No adipocere was formed on any of the control group rabbits. This study also highlights the fact that multiple factors influence adipocere formation and it is suggested that further research needs to be conducted into this area.