Document Detail

Surprising drifting of bodies along the coast of Portugal and Spain.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12935524     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Ocean currents are extremely important as agents affecting the scene of death, because they may transport bodies long distances. Under these circumstances, considerable difficulty is involved when conducting the search for a missing person. Furthermore, when the victim's body is found on the shore of a foreign country, additional complications arise regarding identification. In the medicolegal literature, this issue has rarely been evaluated from a forensic point of view. In this paper, we present the medicolegal investigations performed at the Santiago de Compostela Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology (Ministry of Justice, Spain) and nine cases of identification of bodies which had drifted a considerable distance from the scene of death. The two bodies were considered to be the victims who committed suicide at the sea side, and the other seven bodies were identified as the victims of the bus accident in the Duero River, Portugal. When the distance and speed of the drifting bodies of the former two were compared to those of the latter seven bodies, it was surprising that the seven victims of the bus accident were found as clustered at the coast of Spain and some of them were pushed by the currents as much as 380 km in only 60 h. Such phenomena has never been reported, and the discovery of the majority of the corpses has had international far-reaching consequences. The identification of the victims was successfully carried out by dentistry, by DNA and in most cases, especially in those related to the bus accident in Portugal, by digital photography sent by electronic mail to the victim's home country. Attention is also given to a possible explanation related to the buoyancy and displacement of the bodies.
J Blanco Pampín; B A López-Abajo Rodríguez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Legal medicine (Tokyo, Japan)     Volume:  3     ISSN:  1344-6223     ISO Abbreviation:  Leg Med (Tokyo)     Publication Date:  2001 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-08-25     Completed Date:  2003-12-05     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100889186     Medline TA:  Leg Med (Tokyo)     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  177-82     Citation Subset:  -    
Ministry of Justice, Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, c/ Viena s/n, 15701 Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
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