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Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2011 Jul;1(2):120-2. doi: 10.4103/2229-516X.91160.

Rigor mortis in an unusual position: Forensic considerations.

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Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, India.


We report a case in which the dead body was found with rigor mortis in an unusual position. The dead body was lying on its back with limbs raised, defying gravity. Direction of the salivary stains on the face was also defying the gravity. We opined that the scene of occurrence of crime is unlikely to be the final place where the dead body was found. The clues were revealing a homicidal offence and an attempt to destroy the evidence. The forensic use of 'rigor mortis in an unusual position' is in furthering the investigations, and the scientific confirmation of two facts - the scene of death (occurrence) is different from the scene of disposal of dead body, and time gap between the two places.


Crime scene; disposal of dead body; homicide; rigor mortis; scene of occurrence; unusual position

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