Abstract and References
Transactions on Science and Technology Vol. 4, No. 4, 476 - 481, 2017

Lipid Distribution Associated With a Clandestine Grave: A Burial in Mangrove Soil

Xueer Chock, Siti Sofo Ismail

Locating clandestine grave is difficult using the traditional methods as it is time consuming, costly and involves a lot of human power. By determining the soil lipid distribution for each decomposition stages, the prior presence of a body in a grave can be confirmed and the estimated postmortem interval (PMI) can be established. In this study, fatty flesh of commercial pig (Sus Scrofa) was allowed to decompose under controlled laboratory experiment, mimicking a burial in a shallow grave. The fatty flesh was buried in mangrove soil under tropical climate. Soils were collected at eight designated sampling points, representing different decomposition stages. Lipids were extracted using Modified Bligh-Dyer Extraction Method and analyzed with Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID). The common lipids found were palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0), oleic acid (C18:1) and cholesterol. Obvious difference in lipid content was observed in soil with and without burial. Lipid is a suitable burial biomarker for forensic scientists and law enforcements in solving crime cases.

KEYWORDS: Lipid; Fatty acids; Decomposition; Clandestine grave; Post mortem interval

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