Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 218

Search results for: forensic entomology

218 Forensic Entomology in Algeria

Authors: Meriem Taleb, Ghania Tail, Fatma Zohra Kara, Brahim Djedouani, T. Moussa

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Forensic entomology is the use of insects and their arthropod relatives as silent witnesses to aid legal investigations by interpreting information concerning a death. The main purpose of forensic entomology is to establish the postmortem interval or PMI Postmortem interval is a matter of crucial importance in the investigations of homicide and other untimely deaths when the body found is after three days. Forensic entomology has grown immensely as a discipline in the past thirty years. In Algeria, forensic entomology was introduced in 2010 by the National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology of the National Gendarmerie (NICC). However, all the work that has been done so far in this growing field in Algeria has been unknown at both the national and international levels. In this context, the aim of this paper is to describe the state of forensic entomology in Algeria. The Laboratory of Entomology of the NICC is the only one of its kind in Algeria. It started its activities in 2010, consisting of two specialists. The main missions of the laboratory are estimation of the PMI by the analysis of entomological evidence, and determination if the body was moved. Currently, the laboratory is performing different tasks such as the expert work required by investigators to estimate the PMI using the insects. The estimation is performed by the accumulated degree days method (ADD) in most of the cases except for those where the cadaver is in dry decay. To assure the quality of the entomological evidence, crime scene personnel are trained by the laboratory of Entomology of the NICC. Recently, undergraduate and graduate students have been studying carrion ecology and insect activity in different geographic locations of Algeria using rabbits and wild boar cadavers as animal models. The Laboratory of Entomology of the NICC has also been involved in some of these research projects. Entomotoxicology experiments are also conducted with the collaboration of the Toxicology Department of the NICC. By dint of hard work that has been performed by the Laboratory of Entomology of the NICC, official bodies have been adopting more and more the use of entomological evidence in criminal investigations in Algeria, which is commendable. It is important, therefore, that steps are taken to fill in the gaps in the knowledge necessary for entomological evidence to have a useful future in criminal investigations in Algeria.

Keywords: forensic entomology, corpse, insects, postmortem interval, expertise, Algeria

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217 The Application of Insects in Forensic Investigations

Authors: Shirin Jalili, Hadi Shirzad, Samaneh Nabavi, Somayeh Khanjani

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Forensic entomology is the science of study and analysis of insects evidences to aid in criminal investigation. Being aware of the distribution, biology, ecology and behavior of insects, which are founded at crime scene can provide information about when, where and how the crime has been committed. It has many application in criminal investigations. Its main use is estimation of the minimum time after death in suspicious death. The close association between insects and corpses and the use of insects in criminal investigations is the subject of forensic entomology. Because insects attack to the decomposing corpse and spawning on it from the initial stages. Forensic scientists can estimate the postmortem index by studying the insects population and the developing larval stages.In addition, toxicological and molecular studies of these insects can reveal the cause of death or even the identity of a victim. It also be used to detect drugs and poisons, and determination of incident location. Gathering robust entomological evidences is made possible for experts by recent Techniques. They can provide vital information about death, corpse movement or burial, submersion interval, time of decapitation, identification of specific sites of trauma, post-mortem artefacts on the body, use of drugs, linking a suspect to the scene of a crime, sexual molestations and the identification of suspects.

Keywords: Forensic entomology, post mortem interval, insects, larvae

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216 Application of Forensic Entomology to Estimate the Post Mortem Interval

Authors: Meriem Taleb, Ghania Tail, Fatma Zohra Kara, Brahim Djedouani, T. Moussa

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Forensic entomology has grown immensely as a discipline in the past thirty years. The main purpose of forensic entomology is to establish the post mortem interval or PMI. Three days after the death, insect evidence is often the most accurate and sometimes the only method of determining elapsed time since death. This work presents the estimation of the PMI in an experiment to test the reliability of the accumulated degree days (ADD) method and the application of this method in a real case. The study was conducted at the Laboratory of Entomology at the National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology of the National Gendarmerie, Algeria. The domestic rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus L. was selected as the animal model. On 08th July 2012, the animal was killed. Larvae were collected and raised to adulthood. Estimation of oviposition time was calculated by summing up average daily temperatures minus minimum development temperature (also specific to each species). When the sum is reached, it corresponds to the oviposition day. Weather data were obtained from the nearest meteorological station. After rearing was accomplished, three species emerged: Lucilia sericata, Chrysomya albiceps, and Sarcophaga africa. For Chrysomya albiceps species, a cumulation of 186°C is necessary. The emergence of adults occured on 22nd July 2012. A value of 193.4°C is reached on 9th August 2012. Lucilia sericata species require a cumulation of 207°C. The emergence of adults occurred on 23rd, July 2012. A value of 211.35°C is reached on 9th August 2012. We should also consider that oviposition may occur more than 12 hours after death. Thus, the obtained PMI is in agreement with the actual time of death. We illustrate the use of this method during the investigation of a case of a decaying human body found on 03rd March 2015 in Bechar, South West of Algerian desert. Maggots were collected and sent to the Laboratory of Entomology. Lucilia sericata adults were identified on 24th March 2015 after emergence. A sum of 211.6°C was reached on 1st March 2015 which corresponds to the estimated day of oviposition. Therefore, the estimated date of death is 1st March 2015 ± 24 hours. The estimated PMI by accumulated degree days (ADD) method seems to be very precise. Entomological evidence should always be used in homicide investigations when the time of death cannot be determined by other methods.

Keywords: forensic entomology, accumulated degree days, postmortem interval, diptera, Algeria

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215 Attraction and Identification of Early Scavenger Insects on Shaded and Sunny Liver Baits in a Saharian Region of South-Central Algeria

Authors: A. M. Taleb, A. G. Tail, A. F. Kara, B. B. Djedouani, C. T. Moussa

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Forensic entomology is the use of insects to aid legal investigations. The main purpose of forensic entomology is to establish the postmortem interval (PMI). In order to estimate the PMI, a forensic entomologist compares the case data with certain reference information relevant to the particular location and time of year. This reference information, including the local distribution of species, are not available in Algeria. Therefore, experiments need to be conducted to provide references for entomological evidence. The objective of this study was to identify the necrophagous flies species which arrive first to carrion using liver baits in Ghardaia, South Algeria. The study was carried out during the spring season in the palmeral of Beni Isguen, Ghardaia which is well known by its hot arid climate. The experiment site (32°28’0’’ N, 3°42’0’’ E), is situated at an altitude of about 526 metres above mean sea level. On April the 4th, 2014, a number of three replicates of liver baited traps were placed in the shade and other three baits were exposed to the sun. Flying insects and larvae were captured and identified. After few minutes, flies invaded the traps which were exposed to the sun. In contrast, no flies were observed in the other traps. A total number of fourty five (45) adult specimens belonging to three taxa were identified: Calliphora vicina (Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830) (Diptera, Calliphoridae) (51.11 %), Lucilia sericata (Meigen, 1826) (Diptera, Calliphoridae) (33.33 %) and Sarcophaga africa (Wiedemann, 1824) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) (15.55 %). Six hundred and three (603) maggots belonging to two taxa were identified: Calliphora vicina (76.28 %) and Lucilia sericata (23.71 %). The data obtained from this study provides baseline information regarding the carrion fauna of this area. It will also form a basis for similar studies in different geographical and climatological regions of Algeria.

Keywords: forensic entomology, liver baits, necrophagous fly, Ghardaia, South Algeria

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214 Differentiating Third Instar Larvae of Three Species of Flies (Family: Sarcophagidae) of Potential Forensic Importance in Jamaica, Using Morphological Characteristics

Authors: Rochelle Daley, Eric Garraway, Catherine Murphy

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Crime is a major problem in Jamaica as well as the high number of unsolved violent crimes. The introduction of forensic entomology in criminal investigations has the potential to decrease the number of unsolved violent crimes through the estimation of PMI (post-mortem interval) or time since death. Though it has great potential, forensic entomology requires data from insects specific to a geographical location to be credibly applied in legal investigations. It is a relatively new area of study in the Caribbean, with multiple pioneer research opportunities. Of critical importance in forensic entomology is the ability to identify the species of interest. Larvae are commonly collected at crime scenes and a means of rapid identification is crucial. Moreover, a low-cost method is critical in countries with limited budget available for crime fighting. Sarcophagids are one of the most important colonisers of a carcass however, they are difficult to distinguish using morphology due to their similarities, however, there is a lack of research on the larvae of this family. This research contributes to that, having identified the larvae of three species from the family Sarcophagidae: Peckia nicasia, Peckia chrysostoma and Blaesoxipha plinthopyga; important agents in flesh decomposition. Adults of Sarcophidae are also difficult to differentiate, often requiring study of the genitalia; the use of larvae in species identification is important in such cases. Adult Sarcophagids were attracted using bottle traps baited with pig liver. These adults larviposited and the larvae were collected and colonises (generation 2 and 3) reared at room temperature for morphological work (n=50). The posterior ends of the larvae from segments 9 or 10 were removed and mounted posterior end upwards to allow study using a light microscope at magnification X200 (posterior cavity and intersegmental spine bands) and X640 (anterior and posterior spiracle). The remaining sections of the larvae were cleared in 10 % KOH and the cephalopharyngeal skeleton dissected out and measured at different points. The cephalopharyngeal skeletons show observable differences in the shapes and sizes of the mouth hooks as well as the length of the ventral cornua. The most notable difference between species is in the general shape of the anal segments and the shape of the posterior spiracles. Intersegmental spine bands of these larvae become less pigmented and visible as the larvae change instars. Spine bands along with anterior spiracle are not recommended as features for species distinction. Larvae can potentially be used to distinguish Sarcophagids to the level of species, with observable differences in the anal segments and the cephalopharyngeal skeletons. However, this method of identification should be tested by comparing these morphological features with other Jamaican Sarcophagids to further support this conclusion.

Keywords: 3rd instar larval morphology, forensic entomology, Jamaica, Sarcophagidae

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213 Forensic Imaging as an Effective Learning Tool for Teaching Forensic Pathology to Undergraduate Medical Students

Authors: Vasudeva Murthy Challakere Ramaswamy

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Background: Conventionally forensic pathology is learnt through autopsy demonstrations which carry various limitations such as unavailability of cases in the mortuary, medico-legal implication and infection. Over the years forensic pathology and science has undergone significant evolution in this digital world. Forensic imaging is a technology which can be effectively utilized for overcoming the current limitations in the undergraduate learning of forensic curriculum. Materials and methods: demonstration of forensic imaging was done using a novel technology of autopsy which has been recently introduced across the globe. Three sessions were conducted in international medical university for a total of 196 medical students. The innovative educational tool was evacuated by using quantitative questionnaire with the scoring scales between 1 to 10. Results: The mean score for acceptance of new tool was 82% and about 74% of the students recommended incorporation of the forensic imaging in the regular curriculum. 82% of students were keen on collaborative research and taking further training courses in forensic imaging. Conclusion: forensic imaging can be an effective tool and also a suitable alternative for teaching undergraduate students. This feedback also supports the fact that students favour the use of contemporary technologies in learning medicine.

Keywords: forensic imaging, forensic pathology, medical students, learning tool

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212 An Enhanced Digital Forensic Model for Internet of Things Forensic

Authors: Tina Wu, Andrew Martin

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The expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) brings a new level of threat. Attacks on IoT are already being used by criminals to form botnets, launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and distribute malware. This opens a whole new digital forensic arena to develop forensic methodologies in order to have the capability to investigate IoT related crimes. However, existing proposed IoT forensic models are still premature requiring further improvement and validation, many lack details on the acquisition and analysis phase. This paper proposes an enhanced theoretical IoT digital forensic model focused on identifying and acquiring the main sources of evidence in a methodical way. In addition, this paper presents a theoretical acquisition framework of the different stages required in order to be capable of acquiring evidence from IoT devices.

Keywords: acquisition, Internet of Things, model, zoning

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211 Corruption and Economic Performance in Nigeria: The Role of Forensic Accounting

Authors: Jamila Garba Audu, Peter Adamu

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This study investigates the role of forensic accounting in the fight against corruption in Nigeria for better utilization of public funds and economic growth and development of the Country. We adopted a trend analysis to show the performance of the Nigerian economy as well as the quality of institutions which government economic and political activities in the country. It is an established fact that Nigeria has performed badly since the 1960s to date in terms of institutional quality and economic development despite large amount of money obtained from the export of crude oil. It was revealed also that the fight against corruption has not been very successful in recent times because experts in the field of forensic accounting have not been utilized. With the successes recorded in dealing with fraud and embezzlement using forensic accounting, it has become imperative for the EFCC to use forensic accountants in the fight against corruption in the country. Also, there is the need to introduce very seriously, the teaching of forensic accounting in Nigerian Universities to train experts.

Keywords: corruption, economic performance, forensic accounting, Nigeria

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210 The Conception of Implementation of Vision for European Forensic Science 2020 in Lithuania

Authors: Eglė Bilevičiūtė, Vidmantas Egidijus Kurapka, Snieguolė Matulienė, Sigutė Stankevičiūtė

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The Council of European Union (EU Council) has stressed on several occasions the need for a concerted, comprehensive and effective solution to delinquency problems in EU communities. In the context of establishing a European Forensic Science Area and the development of forensic science infrastructure in Europe, EU Council believes that forensic science can significantly contribute to the efficiency of law enforcement, crime prevention and combating crimes. Lithuanian scientists have consolidated to implement a project named “Conception of the vision for European Forensic Science 2020 implementation in Lithuania” (the project is funded for the period of 1 March 2014 - 31 December 2016) with the objective to create a conception of implementation of the vision for European Forensic Science 2020 in Lithuania by 1) evaluating the current status of Lithuania’s forensic system and opportunities for its improvement; 2) analysing achievements and knowledge in investigation of crimes listed in conclusions of EU Council on the vision for European Forensic Science 2020 including creation of a European Forensic Science Area and the development of forensic science infrastructure in Europe: trafficking in human beings, organised crime and terrorism; 3) analysing conceptions of criminalistics, which differ in different EU member states due to the variety of forensic schools, and finding means for their harmonization. Apart from the conception of implementation of the vision for European Forensic Science 2020 in Lithuania, the project is expected to suggest provisions that will be relevant to other EU countries as well. Consequently, the presented conception of implementation of vision for European Forensic Science 2020 in Lithuania could initiate a project for a common vision of European Forensic Science and contribute to the development of the EU as an area of freedom, security and justice. The article presents main ideas of the project of the conception of the vision for European Forensic Science 2020 of EU Council and analyses its legal background, as well as prospects of and challenges for its implementation in Lithuania and the EU.

Keywords: EUROVIFOR, standardization, vision for European Forensic Science 2020, Lithuania

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209 The Lacuna in Understanding of Forensic Science amongst Law Practitioners in India

Authors: Poulomi Bhadra, Manjushree Palit, Sanjeev P. Sahni

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Forensic science uses all branches of science for criminal investigation and trial and has increasingly emerged as an important tool in the administration of justice. However, the growth and development of this field in India has not been as rapid or widespread as compared to the more developed Western countries. For successful administration of justice, it is important that all agencies involved in law enforcement adopt an inter-professional approach towards forensic science, which is presently lacking. In light of the alarmingly high average acquittal rate in India, this study aims to examine the lack of understanding and appreciation of the importance and scope of forensic evidence and expert opinions amongst law professionals such as lawyers and judges. Based on a study of trial court cases from Delhi and surrounding areas, the study underline the areas in forensics where the criminal justice system has noticeably erred. Using this information, the authors examine the extent of forensic understanding amongst legal professionals and attempt to conclusively identify the areas in which they need further appraisal. A cross-sectional study done using a structured questionnaire was conducted amongst law professionals across age, gender, type and years of experience in court, to determine their understanding of DNA, fingerprints and other interdisciplinary scientific materials used as forensic evidence. In our study, we understand the levels of understanding amongst lawyers with regards to DNA and fingerprint evidence, and how it affects trial outcomes. We also aim to understand the factors that prevent credible and advanced awareness amongst legal personnel, amongst others. The survey identified the areas in modern and advanced forensics, such as forensic entomology, anthropology, cybercrime etc., in which Indian legal professionals are yet to attain a functional understanding. It also brings to light, what is commonly termed as the ‘CSI-effect’ in the Western courtrooms, and provides scope to study the existence of this phenomenon and its effects on the Indian courts and their judgements. This study highlighted the prevalence of unchallenged expert testimony presented by the prosecution in criminal trials and impressed upon the judicial system the need for independent analysis and evaluation of the scientist’s data and/or testimony by the defense. Overall, this study aims to define a clearer and rigid understanding of why legal professionals should have basic understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of forensic sciences. Based on the aforementioned findings, the author suggests various measures by which judges and lawyers might obtain an extensive knowledge of the advances and promising potentialities of forensic science. This includes promoting a forensic curriculum in legal studies at Bachelor’s and Master’s level as well as in mid-career professional courses. Formation of forensic-legal consultancies, in consultation with the Department of Justice, will not only assist in training police, military and law personnel but will also encourage legal research in this field. These suggestions also aim to bridge the communication gap that presently exists between law practitioners, forensic scientists and the general community’s awareness of the criminal justice system.

Keywords: forensic science, Indian legal professionals, interdisciplinary awareness, legal education

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208 Financial Statement Fraud: The Need for a Paradigm Shift to Forensic Accounting

Authors: Ifedapo Francis Awolowo

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The unrelenting series of embarrassing audit failures should stimulate a paradigm shift in accounting. And in this age of information revolution, there is need for a constant improvement on the products or services one offers to the market in order to be relevant. This study explores the perceptions of external auditors, forensic accountants and accounting academics on whether a paradigm shift to forensic accounting can reduce financial statement frauds. Through Neo-empiricism/inductive analytical approach, findings reveal that a paradigm shift to forensic accounting might be the right step in the right direction in order to increase the chances of fraud prevention and detection in the financial statement. This research has implication on accounting education on the need to incorporate forensic accounting into present day accounting curriculum. Accounting professional bodies, accounting standard setters and accounting firms all have roles to play in incorporating forensic accounting education into accounting curriculum. Particularly, there is need to alter the ISA 240 to make the prevention and detection of frauds the responsibilities of bot those charged with the management and governance of companies and statutory auditors.

Keywords: financial statement fraud, forensic accounting, fraud prevention and detection, auditing, audit expectation gap, corporate governance

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207 Adoption and Diffusion of Valuation Standards in the Forensic Accounting Community and in Courts: Facilitating and Inhibiting Factors

Authors: Matteo Manera, Mariateresa Torchia, Gregory Moscato

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Forensic accounting is a hot subject of research in accounting. Valuation remains one of the major topics for practitioners. Valuation standards are a powerful instrument that can contribute to a fair process: their use aims at reducing subjectivity and arbitrary decisions in courts. In most jurisdictions, valuation standards are not the law: forensic accountants are not obliged to use valuation standards when they perform valuation works for judges. To date, as far as we know, no literature work has investigated adoption and diffusion of valuation standards in the forensic accounting space. In this paper, we analyze the spread of valuation standards through the lenses of isomorphism and -as corollaries- of Agency Theory and Signaling Theory. Because of lack of research in the particular area of valuation standards adoption, the present work relies on qualitative, exploratory research, based on semi-structured interviews conducted (up to saturation) with expert forensic accountants. Our work digs into motivations behind adoption and diffusion, as well into perceptions of forensic accountants around benefits of valuation standards and into barriers to their diffusion: the result is that, while the vast majority of forensic accountants praise the great work of the standards setters in introducing valuation standards, it might be that less than 50% of forensic accountants actually use valuation standards, in courts. Our preliminary findings, to be supported or refuted by future research, lead us to address a “trilogy” of recommendations to the stakeholders involved in the process of adoption and diffusion of valuation standards in courts.

Keywords: forensic accounting, valuation standards, adoption of standards, motivations, benefits, barriers, Isomorphism

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206 Filtering and Reconstruction System for Grey-Level Forensic Images

Authors: Ahd Aljarf, Saad Amin

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Images are important source of information used as evidence during any investigation process. Their clarity and accuracy is essential and of the utmost importance for any investigation. Images are vulnerable to losing blocks and having noise added to them either after alteration or when the image was taken initially, therefore, having a high performance image processing system and it is implementation is very important in a forensic point of view. This paper focuses on improving the quality of the forensic images. For different reasons packets that store data can be affected, harmed or even lost because of noise. For example, sending the image through a wireless channel can cause loss of bits. These types of errors might give difficulties generally for the visual display quality of the forensic images. Two of the images problems: noise and losing blocks are covered. However, information which gets transmitted through any way of communication may suffer alteration from its original state or even lose important data due to the channel noise. Therefore, a developed system is introduced to improve the quality and clarity of the forensic images.

Keywords: image filtering, image reconstruction, image processing, forensic images

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205 Succession and Rural vs. Urban Habitat Differences of Coleoptera Species Attracted to Pig Carrions in Eskişehir Province, Turkey

Authors: Cansu Kılıç, Ferhat Altunsoy

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In this study, a total of 82 species belonging to the families Staphylinidae, Histeridae, Dermestidae, Silphidae and Cleridae within Coleptera were detected which are collected from 24 pig carrion for a duration of one year. While 12 of the carrions have been placed in rural areas, other 12 have been placed in urban areas in Eskişehir province. The distribution of these species according to months and the period that they exist on different stages of decomposition were determined. Furthermore, Coleoptera species attracted to the pig carrions both in rural and urban areas were detected and their similarities and differences were presented.

Keywords: forensic entomology, Coleoptera, succession, Turkey, rural, urban

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204 Molecular Diversity of Forensically Relevant Insects from the Cadavers of Lahore

Authors: Sundus Mona, Atif Adnan, Babar Ali, Fareeha Arshad, Allah Rakha

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Molecular diversity is the variation in the abundance of species. Forensic entomology is a neglected field in Pakistan. Insects collected from the crime scene should be handled by forensic entomologists who are currently virtually non-existent in Pakistan. Correct identification of insect specimen along with knowledge of their biodiversity can aid in solving many problems related to complicated forensic cases. Inadequate morphological identification and insufficient thermal biological studies limit the entomological utility in Forensic Medicine. Recently molecular identification of entomological evidence has gained attention globally. DNA barcoding is the latest and established method for species identification. Only proper identification can provide a precise estimation of postmortem intervals. Arthropods are known to be the first tourists scavenging on decomposing dead matter. The objective of the proposed study was to identify species by molecular techniques and analyze their phylogenetic importance with barcoded necrophagous insect species of early succession on human cadavers. Based upon this identification, the study outcomes will be the utilization of established DNA bar codes to identify carrion feeding insect species for concordant estimation of post mortem interval. A molecular identification method involving sequencing of a 658bp ‘barcode’ fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) gene from collected specimens of unknown dipteral species from cadavers of Lahore was evaluated. Nucleotide sequence divergences were calculated using MEGA 7 and Arlequin, and a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree was generated. Three species were identified, Chrysomya megacephala, Chrysomya saffranea, and Chrysomya rufifacies with low genetic diversity. The fixation index was 0.83992 that suggests a need for further studies to identify and classify forensically relevant insects in Pakistan. There is an exigency demand for further research especially when immature forms of arthropods are recovered from the crime scene.

Keywords: molecular diversity, DNA barcoding, species identification, forensically relevant

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203 Proposition on Improving Environmental Forensic System in China

Authors: Huilei Wang, Yuanfeng Wang

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In the early period of China, economy developed rapidly at the cost of environment. Recently, it is generally recognized that the heavily polluted environment not only puts a brake on economic development but also paces negative impact on people’ health as well as probably next decades of generations. Accordingly, the latest Environmental Protection Law revised in 2014 makes a clear-cut division of environmental responsibility and regulates stricter penalties of breaching law. As the new environmental law is enforced gradually, environmental forensic is increasingly required in the process of ascertaining facts in judicial proceedings of environmental cases. Based on the outcomes of documentary analysis for all environmental cases judged on the basis of new environmental law, it is concluded that there still exists problems in present system of environmental forensic. Thus, this paper is aimed to make proposition on improving Chinese environmental forensic system, which involves: (i) promoting capability of environmental forensic system (EFS) to handle professional questions; (ii) develop price mechanism; (iii) multi-departments cooperate to establish unifying and complete EFS system;(iv) enhance the probative value of results of EFS. Such protocol for amending present regulation on environmental forensic is of significant importance because a quality report of environmental forensic will contributes to providing strong probative evidence of culprits’ activity of releasing contaminant into environment, degree of damages for victims and above all, causality between the behavior of public nuisance and damages.

Keywords: China, environmental cases, environmental forensic system, proposition

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202 DNA as an Instrument in Constructing Narratives and Justice in Criminal Investigations: A Socio-Epistemological Exploration

Authors: Aadita Chaudhury

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Since at least the early 2000s, DNA profiling has achieved a preeminent status in forensic investigations into criminal acts. While the criminal justice system has a long history of using forensic evidence and testing them through establish technoscientific means, the primacy of DNA in establishing 'truth' or reconstructing a series of events is unparalleled in the history of forensic science. This paper seeks to elucidate the ways in which DNA profiling has become the most authoritative instrument of 'truth' in criminal investigations, and how it is used in the legal process to ascertain culpability, create the notion of infallible evidence, and advance the search for justice. It is argued that DNA profiling has created a paradigm shift in how the legal system and the general public understands crime and culpability, but not without limitations. There are indications that even trace amounts of DNA evidence can point to causal links in a criminal investigation, however, there still remains many rooms to create confusion and doubt from empirical evidence within the narrative of crimes. Many of the shortcomings of DNA-based forensic investigations are explored and evaluated with regards to claims of the authority of biological evidence and implications for the public understanding of the elusive concepts of truth and justice in the present era. Public misinformation about the forensic analysis processes could produce doubt or faith in the judgements rooted in them, depending on other variables presented at the trial. A positivist understanding of forensic science that is shared by the majority of the population does not take into consideration that DNA evidence is far from definitive, and can be used to support any theories of culpability, to create doubt and to deflect blame.

Keywords: DNA profiling, epistemology of forensic science, philosophy of forensic science, sociology of scientific knowledge

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201 Punishment In Athenian Forensic Oratory

Authors: Eleni Volonaki

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In Athenian forensic speeches, the argumentation on punishment of the wrongdoers constitutes a fundamental ideal of exacting justice in court. The present paper explores the variation of approaches to punishment as a means of reformation, revenge, correction, education, example, chance to restoration of justice. As it will be shown, all these approaches reflect the social and political ideology of Athenian justice in the classical period and enhances the role of the courts and the importance of rhetoric in the process of decision-making. Punishment entails a wide range of penalties but also of ideological principles related to the Athenian constitution of democracy.

Keywords: punishment, athenian forensic speeches, justice, athenian democracy

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200 Gender Identification Using Digital Forensics

Authors: Vinod C. Nayak

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In day-to-day forensic practice, identification is always a difficult task. Availability of anti-mortem and postmortem records plays a major rule in facilitating this tough task. However, the advent of digital forensic is a boon for forensic experts. This study has made use of digital forensics to establish identity by radiological dimensions of maxillary sinus using workstation software. The findings suggest a significant association between maxillary sinus dimensions and human gender. The author will be discussing the methods and results of the study in this e-poster.

Keywords: digital forensics, identification, maxillary sinus, radiology

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199 Directing the Forensic Investigation of a Catastrophic Structure Collapse: The Jacksonville Parking Garage Collapse

Authors: William C. Bracken

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This paper discusses the forensic investigation of a fatality-involved catastrophic structure collapse and the special challenges faced when tasked with directing such an effort. While this paper discusses the investigation’s findings and the outcome of the event; this paper’s primary focus is on the challenges faced directing a forensic investigation that requires coordinating with governmental oversight while also having to accommodate multiple parties’ investigative teams. In particular the challenges discussed within this paper included maintaining on-site safety and operations while accommodating outside investigator’s interests. In addition this paper discusses unique challenges that one may face such as what to do about unethical conduct of interested party’s investigative teams, “off the record” sharing of information, and clandestinely transmitted evidence.

Keywords: catastrophic structure collapse, collapse investigation, Jacksonville parking garage collapse, forensic investigation

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198 Applying Massively Parallel Sequencing to Forensic Soil Bacterial Profiling

Authors: Hui Li, Xueying Zhao, Ke Ma, Yu Cao, Fan Yang, Qingwen Xu, Wenbin Liu

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Soil can often link a person or item to a crime scene, which makes it a valuable evidence in forensic casework. Several techniques have been utilized in forensic soil discrimination in previous studies. Because soil contains a vast number of microbiomes, the analyse of soil microbiomes is expected to be a potential way to characterise soil evidence. In this study, we applied massively parallel sequencing (MPS) to soil bacterial profiling on the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM). Soils from different regions were collected repeatedly. V-region 3 and 4 of Bacterial 16S rRNA gene were detected by MPS. Operational taxonomic units (OTU, 97%) were used to analyse soil bacteria. Several bioinformatics methods (PCoA, NMDS, Metastats, LEfse, and Heatmap) were applied in bacterial profiles. Our results demonstrate that MPS can provide a more detailed picture of the soil microbiomes and the composition of soil bacterial components from different region was individualistic. In conclusion, the utility of soil bacterial profiling via MPS of the 16S rRNA gene has potential value in characterising soil evidences and associating them with their place of origin, which can play an important role in forensic science in the future.

Keywords: bacterial profiling, forensic, massively parallel sequencing, soil evidence

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197 Determination of the Knowledge Level of Healthcare Professional's Working at the Emergency Services in Turkey about Their Approaches to Common Forensic Cases

Authors: E. Tuğba Topçu, Ebru E. Kazan, Erhan Büken

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Emergency nurses are the first health care professional to generally observe the patients, communicate patients’ family or relatives, touch the properties of patients and contact to laboratory sample of patients. Also, they are the encounter incidents related crime, people who engage in violence or suspicious injuries frequently. So, documentation of patients’ condition came to the hospital and conservation of evidence are important in the inquiry of forensic medicine. The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge level of healthcare professional working at the emergency services regarding their approaches to common forensic cases. The study was comprised of 404 healthcare professional working (nurse, emergency medicine technician, health officer) at the emergency services of 6 state hospitals, 6 training and 6 research hospitals and 3 university hospitals in Ankara. Data was collected using questionnaire form which was developed by researches in the direction of literature. Questionnaire form is comprised of two sections. The first section includes 17 questions related demographic information about health care professional and 4 questions related Turkish laws. The second section includes 43 questions to the determination of knowledge level of health care professional’s working in the emergency department, about approaches to frequently encountered forensic cases. For the data evaluation of the study; Mann Whitney U test, Bonferroni correction Kruskal Wallis H test and Chi Square tests have been used. According to study, it’s said that there is no forensic medicine expert in the foundation by 73.4% of health care professionals. Two third (66%) of participants’ in emergency department reported daily average 7 or above forensic cases applied to the emergency department and 52.1% of participants did not evaluate incidents came to the emergency department as a forensic case. Most of the participants informed 'duty of preservation of evidence' is health care professionals duty related forensic cases. In result, we determinated that knowledge level of health care professional working in the emergency department, about approaches to frequently encountered forensic cases, is not the expected level. Because we found that most of them haven't received education about forensic nursing.Postgraduates participants, educated health professional about forensic nursing, staff who applied to sources about forensic nursing and staff who evaluated emergency department cases as forensic cases have significantly higher level of knowledge. Moreover, it’s found that forensic cases diagnosis score is the highest in health officer and university graduated. Health care professional’s deficiency in knowledge about forensic cases can cause defects in operation of the forensic process because of mistakes in collecting and conserving of evidence. It is obvious that training about the approach to forensic nursing should be arranged.

Keywords: emergency nurses, forensic case, forensic nursing, level of knowledge

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196 Forensic Nursing in the Emergency Department: The Overlooked Roles

Authors: E. Tugba Topcu

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The emergency services are usually the first places to encounter forensic cases. Hence, it is important to consider forensics from the perspective of the emergency services staff and the physiological and psychological consequences that may arise as a result of behaviour by itself or another person. Accurate and detailed documentation of the situation in which the patient first arrives at the emergency service and preservation of the forensic findings is pivotal for the subsequent forensic investigation. The first step in determining whether or not a forensic case exists is to perform a medical examination of the patient. For each individual suspected to be part of a forensic case, police officers should be informed at the same time as the medical examination is being conducted. Violent events are increasing every year and with an increase in the number of forensic cases, emergency service workers have increasing responsibility and consequently play a key role in protecting, collecting and arranging the forensic evidence. In addition, because the emergency service workers involved in forensic events typically have information about the accused and/or victim, as well as evidence related to the events and the cause of injuries, police officers often require their testimony. However, both nurses and other health care personnel do not typically have adequate expertise in forensic medicine. Emergency nurses should take an active role for determining that whether any patient admitted to the emergency services is a clinical forensic patient the emergency service with injury and requiring possible punishment and knowing of their roles and responsibilities in this area provides legal protection as well as the protection of the judicial affair. Particularly, in emergency services, where rapid patient turnover and high workload exists, patient registration and case reporting may not exist. In such instances, the witnesses, typically the nurses, are often consulted for information. Knowledge of forensic medical matters plays a vital role in achieving justice. According to the Criminal Procedure Law, Article 75, Paragraph 3, ‘an internal body examination or the taking of blood or other biological samples from the body can be performed only by a doctor or other health professional member’. In favour of this item, the clinic nurse and doctor are mainly responsible for evaluating forensic cases in emergency departments, performing the examination, collecting evidence, and storing and reporting data. The courts place considerable importance on determining whether a suspect is the victim or accused and, thus, in terms of illuminating events, it is crucial that any evidence is gathered carefully and appropriately. All the evidence related to the forensic case including the forensic report should be handed over to the police officers. In instances where forensic evidence cannot be collected and the only way to obtain the evidence is the hospital environment, health care personnel in emergency services need to have knowledge about the diagnosis of forensic evidence, the collection of evidence, hiding evidence and provision of the evidence delivery chain.

Keywords: emergency department, emergency nursing, forensic cases, forensic nursing

Procedia PDF Downloads 179
195 Digital Forensic Exploration Framework for Email and Instant Messaging Applications

Authors: T. Manesh, Abdalla A. Alameen, M. Mohemmed Sha, A. Mohamed Mustaq Ahmed

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Email and instant messaging applications are foremost and extensively used electronic communication methods in this era of information explosion. These applications are generally used for exchange of information using several frontend applications from various service providers by its users. Almost all such communications are now secured using SSL or TLS security over HTTP communication. At the same time, it is also noted that cyber criminals and terrorists have started exchanging information using these methods. Since communication is encrypted end-to-end, tracing significant forensic details and actual content of messages are found to be unattended and severe challenges by available forensic tools. These challenges seriously affect in procuring substantial evidences against such criminals from their working environments. This paper presents a vibrant forensic exploration and architectural framework which not only decrypts any communication or network session but also reconstructs actual message contents of email as well as instant messaging applications. The framework can be effectively used in proxy servers and individual computers and it aims to perform forensic reconstruction followed by analysis of webmail and ICQ messaging applications. This forensic framework exhibits a versatile nature as it is equipped with high speed packet capturing hardware, a well-designed packet manipulating algorithm. It regenerates message contents over regular as well as SSL encrypted SMTP, POP3 and IMAP protocols and catalyzes forensic presentation procedure for prosecution of cyber criminals by producing solid evidences of their actual communication as per court of law of specific countries.

Keywords: forensics, network sessions, packet reconstruction, packet reordering

Procedia PDF Downloads 251
194 A New Genus Longicheles (Acari: Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae) for Pakistan Fauna from Punjab, Pakistan

Authors: Muhammad Asif Qayyoum, Bilal Saeed Khan

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Macrochelid mites are poorly studied from the planes of Punjab, Pakistan. The study was conducted as a part of PhD thesis research partially funded by the Royal Society of Entomology, UK. The genus Longicheles was first time reported from the Pakistan. Samples were collected on the monthly basis from different districts of Punjab province, Pakistan. The genus Longicheles was frequently found from five districts (Faisalabad, Dera Ghazi Khan, Jhung, Layyah, and Rajanpur) of Punjab province. Taxonomic studies were performed in Acarology Lab., Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad with slide deposition. Taxonomic work was performed by using Phase contrast microscope and adobe illustrator (drawings) for finishing of picture. The detail descriptions of two (Longicheles mandibularis and Longicheles hortorum) females are given along with diagrams and key.

Keywords: macrochelidae, longicheles, new records, Punjab

Procedia PDF Downloads 242
193 Assessment of DNA Degradation Using Comet Assay: A Versatile Technique for Forensic Application

Authors: Ritesh K. Shukla

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Degradation of biological samples in terms of macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and protein) are the major challenges in the forensic investigation which misleads the result interpretation. Currently, there are no precise methods available to circumvent this problem. Therefore, at the preliminary level, some methods are urgently needed to solve this issue. In this order, Comet assay is one of the most versatile, rapid and sensitive molecular biology technique to assess the DNA degradation. This technique helps to assess DNA degradation even at very low amount of sample. Moreover, the expedient part of this method does not require any additional process of DNA extraction and isolation during DNA degradation assessment. Samples directly embedded on agarose pre-coated microscopic slide and electrophoresis perform on the same slide after lysis step. After electrophoresis microscopic slide stained by DNA binding dye and observed under fluorescent microscope equipped with Komet software. With the help of this technique extent of DNA degradation can be assessed which can help to screen the sample before DNA fingerprinting, whether it is appropriate for DNA analysis or not. This technique not only helps to assess degradation of DNA but many other challenges in forensic investigation such as time since deposition estimation of biological fluids, repair of genetic material from degraded biological sample and early time since death estimation could also be resolved. With the help of this study, an attempt was made to explore the application of well-known molecular biology technique that is Comet assay in the field of forensic science. This assay will open avenue in the field of forensic research and development.

Keywords: comet assay, DNA degradation, forensic, molecular biology

Procedia PDF Downloads 83
192 Lateral Cephalometric Radiograph to Determine Sex in Forensic Investigations

Authors: Paulus Maulana

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Forensic identification is to help investigators determine a person's identity. Personal identification is often a problem in civil and criminal cases. Orthodontists like all other dental professionals can play a major role by maintaining lateral cephalogram and thus providing important or vital information or can clues to the legal authorities in order to help them in their search. Radiographic lateral cephalometry is a measurement method which focused on the anatomical points of human lateral skull. Sex determination is one of the most important aspects of the personal identification in forensic. Lateral cephalogram is a valuable tool in identification of sex as reveal morphological details of the skull on single radiograph. This present study evaluates the role of lateral cephalogram in identification of sex that parameters of lateral cephalogram are linear measurement and angle measurement. The linear measurements are N-S ( Anterior cranial length), Sna-Snp (Palatal plane length), Me-Go (menton-gonion), N-Sna ( Midfacial anterior height ), Sna-Me (Lower anterior face height), Co-Gn (total mandibular length). The angle measurements are SNA, SNB, ANB, Gonial, Interincical, and facial.

Keywords: lateral cephalometry, cephalogram, sex, forensic, parameter

Procedia PDF Downloads 130
191 A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Forensic Soil Analysis: Tested Using a Simulated Crime Scene

Authors: Samara A. Testoni, Vander F. Melo, Lorna A. Dawson, Fabio A. S. Salvador

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Soil traces are useful as forensic evidence due to their potential to transfer and adhere to different types of surfaces on a range of objects or persons. The great variability expressed by soil physical, chemical, biological and mineralogical properties show soil traces as complex mixtures. Soils are continuous and variable, no two soil samples being indistinguishable, nevertheless, the complexity of soil characteristics can provide powerful evidence for comparative forensic purposes. This work aimed to establish a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for forensic soil analysis in Brazil. We carried out a simulated crime scene with double blind sampling to calibrate the sampling procedures. Samples were collected at a range of locations covering a range of soil types found in South of Brazil: Santa Candida and Boa Vista, neighbourhoods from Curitiba (State of Parana) and in Guarani and Guaraituba, neighbourhoods from Colombo (Curitiba Metropolitan Region). A previously validated sequential analyses of chemical, physical and mineralogical analyses was developed in around 2 g of soil. The suggested SOP and the sequential range of analyses were effective in grouping the samples from the same place and from the same parent material together, as well as successfully discriminated samples from different locations and originated from different rocks. In addition, modifications to the sample treatment and analytical protocol can be made depending on the context of the forensic work.

Keywords: clay mineralogy, forensic soils analysis, sequential analyses, kaolinite, gibbsite

Procedia PDF Downloads 127
190 A Case Study of Misinterpretation of Results in Forensic DNA Cases Due to Expression of Y- Chromosome in Females

Authors: Garima Chaudhary

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The gender of an individual in forensic DNA analysis is normally accessed by using the STR multiplexes with the incorporated gender based marker amelogenin or in other words by presence or absence of Y-Chromosome, but it may not be true in all the cases. We hereby report an interesting case of a phenotypic female carrying a male karyotype (46XY). In the alleged murder case, the deceased female with XY genotype was noticed. The expression of 18 Y-linked genes was studied to measure the extent of expression. Expression at 4 loci was observed that might have caused the misinterpretation in forensic casework. This clinical situation of the deceased in this case was diagnosed as testicular feminization syndrome, which characterize a female phenotype with a male karyotype (46, XY). Most of these cases have SRY (testis determining factor). The genetic explanation of this phenomenon is not very clear. Here, we are discussing the impact of such situations of genetic discrepancy in forensic interpretation of results. In the presented murder case of a phenotypic female, sexual assault was also suspected. For confirmation vaginal swabs and micro slides were also sent to us for DNA examination. After DNA analysis using STR markers, Y-chromosome was detected in the samples which supporting the suspicion of sexual assault before murder. When the reference blood sample of the deceased was analyzed, it was found to be case of testicular feminization syndrome. Interesting inferences were made from the results obtained.

Keywords: DNA profiling, forensic case study, Y chromosome, females

Procedia PDF Downloads 149
189 Forensic Comparison of Facial Images for Human Identification

Authors: D. P. Gangwar

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Identification of human through facial images has got great importance in forensic science. The video recordings, CCTV footage, passports, driver licenses and other related documents are invariably sent to the laboratory for comparison of the questioned photographs as well as video recordings with suspected photographs/recordings to prove the identity of a person. More than 300 questioned and 300 control photographs received in actual crime cases, received from various investigation agencies, have been compared by me so far using various familiar analysis and comparison techniques such as Holistic comparison, Morphological analysis, Photo-anthropometry and superimposition. On the basis of findings obtained during the examination huge photo exhibits, a realistic and comprehensive technique has been proposed which could be very useful for forensic.

Keywords: CCTV Images, facial features, photo-anthropometry, superimposition

Procedia PDF Downloads 454