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Arch Kriminol. 2013 Mar-Apr;231(3-4):130-5.

[Putrefaction in a mortuary cold room? Unusual progression of postmortem decomposition processes].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Institut für gerichtliche Medizin der Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg.


This article illustrates the rare case of rapid body decomposition in an uncommonly short postmortem interval. A clear discrepancy between early postmortem changes at the crime scene and advanced body decomposition at the time of autopsy were seen. Subsequent police investigation identified a failure in the cooling system of the morgue as probable cause. However, due to the postmortem status of the body, a moderate rise in temperature alone is not considered to have caused the full extent of postmortem changes. Therefore, other factors must have been present, which accelerated the postmortem decomposition processes. In our opinion, the most reasonable explanation for this phenomenon would be a rather long resting time of the corpse in a non-refrigerated hearse on a hot summer day.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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