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By Steven C. Clark

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Extra resources for Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator

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Interview family members and associates as needed. Summary: Due to post-injury survival, advances in emergency medical services, multiple modes of transportation, the availability of specialized care, or criminal activity, a body may be moved from the actual location of illness/injury to a remote site. It is imperative that the investigator attempt to determine any and all locations where the decedent has previously been and the mode of transport from these sites. 4. Collect, Inventory, and Safeguard Property and Evidence Principle: The decedent’s valuables/property must be safeguarded to ensure proper processing and eventual return to next of kin.

Document Post Mortem Changes mortem changes and body location may indicate movement of body and validate or invalidate witness statements. In addition, post mortem changes to the body, when correlated with circumstantial information, can assist the investigators in estimating the approximate time of death. Authorization: Medical Examiner/Coroner Official Office Policy Manual; State or Federal Statutory Authority. Policy: The investigator shall document all post mortem changes relative to the decedent and the environment.

C. Identify, secure, and preserve evidence with proper containers, labels, and preservatives. D. Document the collection of evidence by recording its location at the scene, time of collection, and time and location of disposition. E. Develop personnel lists, witness lists, and documentation of times of arrival and departure of personnel. Summary: It is essential to maintain a proper chain of custody for evidence. Through proper documentation, collection, and preservation, the integrity of the evidence can be assured.

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