The Absence of Insects on a Corpse
Forensic entomology refers to the utilization of insects in the criminal investigation. In this case, the insects can be used as a tool in criminal investigations. Megan (2017) narrates the story of Bernard Greenberg, an Entomology expert who applied his expertise in criminal investigations. Bugs provide important information about death depending on the absence and presence of bugs. Greenberg’s research stems from his study of the life cycles and biology of the various types of blowflies.
MSUToday (2021) addresses the case of a Michigan State University Bernard Greenberg’s research in solving a cold case where a human body was found in a lake. In this case, there were no insects on-site and very little algal growth. This is very rare and suggests that the body may have been in the water for about three weeks. Eric Benbow helped in the interrogation of carrion ecology and aquatic decomposition.
Benbow reveals that he was taken to the lake, where he was shown the autopsy report, clothing and photos. He had to consult other forensic entomologize about the fact that there were no insects on site. The hypothesis about the body being in the water for twenty-one days would be proven through the presence of aquatic insects. The terrestrial insects would have been present if the body floated for about one day. It was also interesting that there were no larvae or eggs, which was very perplexing to Benbow.
He offered to replicate the conditions three times to determine why there were no aquatic plants. It was found that even though the body was found in the shallow end of the lake, the deceased may have died and been pushed outwards. This would be the case if the water at the deep end were cold and low in oxygen (Charabidze & Hedouin, 2019). It is also possible that the original medical examiner failed to report the presence of insects.
Charabidze, D., & Hedouin, V. (2019). Temperature: the weak point of forensic entomology. International journal of legal medicine, 133(2), 633-639.
Megan, G. (2017). Bernard Greenberg, forensic entomologist who helped solve murders, dies at 95. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
MSUToday. (2021). MSU forensic entomologist is helping solve a cold case. MSUToday | Michigan State University. Retrieved 16 November 2021.