Position of the Body

The investigator should not be concerned if the decedent's body is discovered in an apparently uncomfortable or unusual position. The decedent may be found lying in a contorted position on the floor in any room of the house, especially the bedroom and the bathroom. As a rule, the more twisted the position, the more sudden the death. This doesn't mean a victim of sudden death may not die in bed. Many times the decedent may have become ill and made it to the bathroom or their bed and died in an apparently comfortable position.

The most common cause of a sudden collapse is heart disease. When the heart begins to beat fast and irregularly (called an arrhythmia), the victim can collapse within seconds or less. The arrhythmia may occur at anytime without warning. Victims may collapse in bed, in the bathroom, while reading the newspaper, or walking down the street. An arrhythmia may also occur during times of stress, such as when shoveling snow or after a traffic accident.

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