Children do not need to be battered with multiple internal and external injuries for a medical examiner to rule a death a homicide. Child abuse and death can result from neglect. For example, if a child is not fed or if a child is left in a harmful situation (like a hot car), death may occur.
If a child is malnourished, his skin may be lax with little underlying soft tissue. He may appear underweight for his age, and the eyes may appear sunken. Vitreous humor (eye fluid) can be sampled and tested for chemical confirmation of dehydration. Sudden loss of weight can be determined by reviewing any previous medical records and comparing past to present weights.
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