A decedent should not sustain additional injuries or be tampered within the time he is removed from leaves the death scene and is inspected by the pathologist. An investigator can help alleviate many potential problems by being present during the movement of a subject from the scene to the morgue. Safeguarding the decedent and trace evidence can be accomplished by placing subjects in clean white sheets or body bags. These should be brought to the scene by the death investigator or members of the office. Do not use any materials from the scene in order to avoid any possible contamination with trace evidence at the scene. Trace evidence on extremities can be safeguarded by use of previously unused paper bags secured by tape. If the head is quite fragile, it can be encased in a large fresh paper bag. Careful attention should be paid to locating projectiles that might be loosely caught in the decedent's hair or clothing. Be sure to look under the decedent after the body has been moved to see if any item has been left behind.
The investigator is responsible for the decedent until the body is placed on the examining table and should therefore be familiar with all persons who come in contact with the decedent at the scene. Any problems regarding the careful and respectful handling of the subject or safeguarding of valuables should be Immediately controlled by an investigator.
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