Establishing the perimortem interval: correlation between bone moisture content and blunt force trauma characters
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] When determining the time of occurrence of skeletal injuries forensic anthropologists know that antemortem skeletal injuries are recognized by evidence of healing. Perimortem and postmortem skeletal injuries are more difficult to distinguish between because neither shows evidence of healing. Additionally, bone does not lose its moisture and collagen immediately after death, so it continues to react to modifications in a perimortem rather than a postmortem manner. Using 60 porcine long bones, I documented the differences between macroscopic and microscopic blunt force trauma fracture characteristics as they varied when created every 28 days throughout a 141 day period. I determined how those changes correlated with bone moisture content and the postmortem interval. Results indicate that there is a significant relationship between postmortem interval and ash percentage, fracture surface, and fracture angle. There is also a significant correlation between overall assessment and postmortem interval, ash weight, fracture surface, and fracture angle as well as between ash weight and fracture surface and fracture angle.
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