Decomposition

1. Decompositional changes are dependent upon the environment.

2. At moderate temperatures, decompositional changes won't occur for a day or two.

3. As rigor passes, the skin begins to turn green, first in the abdomen and then spreading to the rest of the trunk and body, however, this is variable.

4. As discoloration occurs, the body will begin to swell due to bacterial gas formation which is promoted in warm weather and retarded in cold weather.

5. When the body is bloated, the epidermis begins to slip, and the blood begins to degrade.

6. Subcutaneous marbling — degenerated blood visible through the skin.

7. Purging — decomposed blood and body fluids come out of the body orifices. This should not be mistaken for an injury.

8. Skeletonization — may take weeks or months depending on the environment. Many bodies are discovered in partial skeletonization.

9. Bodies may be more decomposed in areas where there are injuries because larvae are attracted to blood and they cause decomposition to occur more quickly.

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