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The Role of Forensic Botany in Solving a Case: Scientific Evidence on the Falsification of a Crime Scene

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Forensic botany can provide useful information for pathologists, particularly on crime scene investigation. We report the case of a man who arrived at the hospital and died shortly afterward. The body showed widespread electrical lesions. The statements of his brother and wife about the incident aroused a large amount of suspicion in the investigators. A crime scene investigation was carried out, along with a botanical morphological survey on small vegetations found on the corpse. An autopsy was also performed. Botanical analysis showed some samples of Xanthium spinosum, thus leading to the discovery of the falsification of the crime scene although the location of the true crime scene remained a mystery. The botanical analysis, along with circumstantial data and autopsy findings, led to the discovery of the real crime scene and became crucial as part of the legal evidence regarding the falsity of the statements made to investigators.
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Keywords: autopsy; crime scene; electrocution; forensic botany; forensic science; manner of death; precipitation; simulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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