The use of Forensic Entomology within Clandestine Gravesite investigations

Jason Byrd, Lerah Sutton


The use forensic entomology within clandestine gravesite excavations can provide valuable information for a medicolegal death investigation. Insect evidence can provide an estimate for specific portions of the postmortem interval as well as yield information concerning the possible treatment or movement of a body after death. Insect activity can even yield clues as to the possible wrapping of bodies in materials for concealment or during transport. In some cases, insect succession patterns can also indicate if the body was frozen or refrigerated prior to disposal in another location. Using techniques of forensic taphonomy to help locate clandestine gravesite better allows a forensic entomologist to identify, document, collect, and analyze evidence to help answer questions about the treatment, movement, location, and trauma of a body within a medicolegal death investigation.


entomology, taphonomy, GPR, ground penetrating radar

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Copyright (c) 2023 Jason Byrd, Lerah Sutton

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