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Neonatal Limb Amputation—An Unusual Form of Postmortem Canine Predation

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Cases of postmortem canine predation often involve elderly recluses and their dogs. The face, head, and genitalia are targeted. Two unusual cases of postmortem canine predation of abandoned newborns are described to demonstrate an unusual alternative pattern of mutilation related to the small size of the decedents, marked decomposition, and canine scavenging behavior. Both bodies were abandoned/concealed soon after birth and were subsequently disturbed by dogs. Both were markedly decomposed with absent arms. Other injuries included skin and soft tissue defects of the torsos, with loss of distal portions of the right foot and the left lower leg in one case. No interstitial hemorrhage was observed in any of the exposed soft tissue wounds. There were no significant head or neck injuries. These cases show that patterns of postmortem canine predation will vary depending on the age, physical characteristics, degree of decomposition, and location of decedents.
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Keywords: canine scavenging; concealed newborn; dog; forensic science; limb amputation; postmortem predation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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