Podcast

ep187 Hyperthermia Death {Case Studies}


Hyperthermia is elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates.

The determination of the cause of death from exposure to extreme temperatures is a diagnosis of exclusion. Because both clinical and autopsy findings are nonspecific, a thorough investigation of the background and scene, evaluation of temporally relevant environmental conditions, and assessment of the victim’s underlying state of health with appropriate laboratory studies, which frequently include autopsy, are essential to establish the cause of injury and/or death with reasonable medical probability. Individuals may encounter environmental extremes in many settings during any season.

The normal human body temperature can be as high as 37.7 °C (99.9 °F) in the late afternoon. Hyperthermia requires an elevation from the temperature that would otherwise be expected. Such elevations range from mild to extreme; body temperatures above 40 °C (104 °F) can be life-threatening.

Hyperthermia—as distinguished from fever (temperature > baseline euthermia) and hyperpyrexia (temperature >106.7°F [>41.5°C]), which characteristically occur in concert with an increased hypothalamic set point from severe infection or central nervous system hemorrhage— is diagnosed clinically by a core body temperature more than 104°F (>40°C) and occurs when the body’s thermoregulatory mechanisms are no longer capable of effectively dissipating heat. In high ambient temperatures, evaporation is the most efficient mechanism for mediating heat loss, yet it is ineffective with humidity levels of more than 75%. Excessive heat retention results in hyperthermia or heat illness of varying degrees of severity.

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Death Investigator Magazine

A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.

“To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.”
Voltaire

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Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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ep186 Training Yourself in Body Recovery

FORENSIC ARCHAEOLOGY

Forensic archaeology is the application of archaeology (the study of past cultures and activities) to legal investigations. The skills and methods used by archaeologists to find and interpret buried or hidden sites of past activity have direct application to modern forensic investigations. In North America, forensic archaeology is often considered to be a specialization of forensic anthropology.

In the 1970s and 1980s, criminal investigators began to call upon archaeologists to help locate, excavate and document certain types of crime-scene evidence – usually clandestine burials of murder victims. Over the next couple of decades, archaeologists became more actively involved in different types of investigations including the excavation of mass burials of victims of modern wars and the recording and recovery of mass fatality events. The main tasks that a forensic archaeologist assists with are: Evidence searches, evidence recovery, evidence recording and scene interpretation.

Evidence search

The search for evidence begins when an object or information leads investigators to believe that a crime or suspicious death has occurred. A forensic archaeologist is typically called when human remains are found scattered on the ground surface and/or remains are suspected to be buried. The first task of a search is to define the area of investigation. This task is usually performed by the archaeologist working alongside the authorities such as the Coroner and Police. The Coroner and Police may have witness testimony that triggers the investigation. The archaeologist will examine a potential crime-scene identified by the witness and try to determine if their testimony is true or not.

In most instances, human remains are found on the surface. Archaeologists are accustomed to conducting “surface surveys”, whereby they inspect the ground surface recording and collecting evidence of past human behavior. In a forensic context, such evidence occurs when a person has died or been killed outside and the natural processes of decomposition and scavenging by animals and insects affect the position of the body or body parts. Scavengers competing for food can drag body parts kilometers away from their original location. Rain, gravity and other natural processes can also change the location and condition of remains as well as associated objects such as the contents of a person’s pockets. Archaeologists have experience in locating evidence and reconstructing the original scene and position of the body through an understanding of these natural processes.

When a body is buried, there are several changes that occur to an area that can generally be detected by the forensic archaeologist. One of these is the change of soil compaction: Soil is made up of organic and mineral components that form through natural processes. Soil typically forms over very long periods. People affect the natural soil when, for instance, they plow it to plant crops or cut into it to construct buildings. When people interrupt naturally formed soil, they change how solid it is (its compaction). The same principle applies when a person digs a grave to bury a body. Loose, less compact soil suggests that it has been recently disturbed, typically by human or animal activity. Sometimes contrasts in soil compaction can be seen but archaeologists using tools such as a shovel or trowel can usually feel the difference in soil compaction, which tells them where the naturally formed soil has been disturbed.

Soil compaction changes with the size of the soil grain. Sand grains are larger than silt grains, which are in turn larger than grains of clay. Soil compaction can naturally differ greatly from one area to another, but recent clandestine or unmarked graves show soil looser than the naturally formed soil that surrounds them. The same principles apply for more ancient archaeological features and activity, but over time the compaction of the disturbed soil generally appears more like the undisturbed soil around it.

Disturbed soil looks different

In the images above, contrasts in the soil can be seen between the darker-colored, looser soil that is filling a grave and the lighter, more compact soil that has not be disturbed.

Other changes that occur during the burial of a body, which might be detectable by a forensic archaeologist, include the creation of a small mound as a result of filling in soil on top of a body; sometimes some of the soil that was placed at the side of the grave during its creation is left there, and this covers vegetation and also makes the area slightly mounded; over time the soil over the body in a grave compacts and lowers, especially over the torso of the body when the organs decompose and the rib cage collapses; different plants take advantage of looser soil and greater levels of moisture (although decomposition fluids from the body can also be toxic to plants). Generally, the area of a burial is composed of looser, darker, more organic soil than that which surrounds it. All of these features help an archaeologist identify a potential burial and indicate the area that should be excavated to locate buried evidence such as a body.

Evidence recovery

Most forensic archaeological investigations take place outdoors, where considerations of scene location and weather must be made. One must make carefully consider logistics to determine what equipment is necessary and potentially useful. A consideration of logistics also implies planning for broader issues such as how to approach the site and how to delimit the area under investigation.

In the case of buried evidence, a forensic archaeologist will excavate. Excavation refers to the process of digging out or uncovering objects in the ground. In a forensic investigation, an archaeologist may be called to excavate a grave. Before the destructive process of excavating a grave begins, all evidence on the ground surface must be documented and collected. Surface evidence can include plants, insects, objects such as clothing or a weapon, and human remains. All evidence should be photographed and mapped, showing the location of each item in relation to other evidence as well as to other important features such as buildings, streams, roads or fences. Once the location of evidence is documented, investigators may collect it. How each piece of evidence is collected and cared for depends on various factors, explained in the section: Inventory of Evidence.

Excavation is destructive, so careful documentation of the work is very important. At a scene with a grave, the forensic archaeologist’s first task is to define the shape and size of the grave. Then, they remove the soil inside the grave carefully – documenting, photographing and collecting everything that is found that might help understand how that person died, was buried and who they are. Excavated soil is often screened to look for small objects, bones, insects or other evidence that can help with the investigation.

There are many types of equipment that help recover and analyze evidence from a crime scene. Mapping the area and evidence may involve a GPS (global positioning system), a compass, a level, a plumb bob, pencils, scale rulers, graph paper, measuring tapes and string for creating a grid over the scene. More advanced survey equipment may include a “total station”, which measures distances in three dimensions using lasers and a prism held over the object being mapped.

Excavation typically involves the use of a shovel and small trowel. Soft wooden or plastic tools should be used around the body so as not to scratch or damage bone. Gloves should always be worn to protect hands from sharp or other dangerous objects in the search area. Likewise, investigators usually wear masks and body suits to protect both the evidence and themselves from contamination. With larger operations like mass grave excavations, driver-operated mechanical excavators such as back-hoes are typically used to begin the search for or excavation of buried evidence.

Since human bone can be fragile, forensic archaeologists and anthropologists must also ensure they have the right supplies to recover and handle the remains. The skeletal evidence is usually placed in paper bags and then put in acid-free boxes to help protect them while being transported for analysis. Paper bags are used because they absorb the moisture and help prevent the formation of mold or other fungi.

When an excavator reaches the body in the grave, they draw and photograph the remains before removing them. Excavation continues until the whole grave is exposed and emptied.  The purpose of an excavation is not only to recover the human remains, but also any other objects or information that might explain who the individual is and what happened to them.

Evidence recording

Sometimes the evidence uncovered by forensic archaeological investigation will be used in court trials. In some countries such as Canada, judges, juries, and lawyers are not at a crime scene during an investigation. They do not know what the scene looked like when it was discovered. In addition, the investigation itself changes the scene:  investigators disrupt the scene by walking across it, digging and collecting evidence. For these reasons, it is extremely important to record the scene as it appeared when discovered and analyzed. Details about the location and condition of evidence must be recorded at the time and place of discovery, or “in situ “.

Investigators may use grid squares to record and map a scene and show the location of all evidence found there. They make a grid of evenly-sized squares across the site with stakes and string. Typically, each square in the grid will be 1 meter by 1 meter, although this may change according to the investigation’s needs. Investigators usually mark one axis of the grid with letters and the other with numbers, so that each square has its own name like A3 or D6. Grids should begin with the marking of a single point called a datum.

Creating a grid is very useful if investigators are digging at a scene because they must remove evidence found on the surface before digging. Recording spatial relationships in three dimensions let them detect associations. For example, the shell casing from a gun might be found on the surface of grid square 1A and a grave located beneath the surface in the bordering square 2A. The closeness of the locations suggests that the casing and grave are related.

Mapping a scene – drawing it on paper or using digital technology – is an important method of recording the area and the evidence discovered. A map can be used with other recording methods like photography to demonstrate what was found at a scene and where it was found. A good map includes the name of its creator, the date, the name or code of the scene, an arrow that indicates north, and a scale. The scale shows how much smaller the map is than the real scene. For example, a 1:100 scale means that one centimeter on the map represents 100 centimeters at the scene. A problem with paper maps is that they are two-dimensional (length and width) representations of a three-dimensional scene (length, width, and depth). As a result, multiple maps may be needed to show different vertical levels. For example, one map will show a bed in the room, and another will show the position of evidence found and collected from under the bed. Profile maps can also be created, which show things from a ‘side’ view, rather than the more common aerial view.

An example of a map

Mapping a scene, the surrounding area and the location of all the evidence is an important part of recovery and crime scene work.  Triangulation is one method of measuring the relative distance between objects. Triangulation works by setting up a baseline, a line that crosses the scene and from which measurements are taken. The position of the baseline should be related to the datum. All evidence and features of the scene can then be mapped from two different points along the baseline forming a ‘triangle’ of measurement with the object being mapped. In this way, one can create a scale map with distances of all objects recorded relative to the baseline and to each other. Triangulation can provide a simple alternative to creating a grid square. If a scene is very large, investigators may use a combination of both methods by creating a very large grid of, say, 10 x 10 meter squares, and then triangulating objects from the two corners of any given square within the grid.

Scene and evidence interpretation

Documenting a scene is important, but attempting to explain why and how things came to be is a critical contribution that archaeologists can make to forensic investigation. Forensic archaeological interpretation focuses on several key areas: context; association; provenience; time elapsed since deposition; and site/scene formation.

Context. A central concept in archaeology that is used in crime-scene interpretation is context. Investigators consider objects or people discovered during a forensic investigation in relation to other objects and people found nearby. These other areas and objects make up the context. Investigators think about context to see how an environment affects or relates to an object. If a bone is found on a farm, the context suggests that the bone is probably from an animal. If the bone has cut marks and the investigator knows that animals are butchered on the farm, the cut marks have a logical, non- criminal explanation.

But the most obvious or logical explanation is not always correct.  A skull at the bottom of a steep slope suggests that it rolled down the slope after decomposition and the skull’s separation from the body.  But the person may also have died elsewhere and a scavenger dragged the skull to the discovery site, using the slope as cover from competing scavengers. Understanding the context – the area and objects around something of forensic interest – help investigators explain what it is, what it is related to, how it came to be in that place and why it is important to an investigation.

Association. Associations are relationships or connections between objects, places or people that can help forensic investigators solve cases. For example, a bullet that injured a victim can be connected to a shell casing found nearby the place of the shooting. That shell casing can be matched to a particular gun, the owner of which may have been the shooter. The shell casing, the bullet, the gun, the victim and the offender are all associated with each other.

An unidentified body’s location can give clues through an association with a type of person that frequents that place. For example, a body on a remote, unmarked trail suggests that the person was a hiker or hunter who knew of and used the trail.  But associations can be misleading: the deceased could also have been a lost tourist who came upon the trail by chance. Forensic investigators should consider all possible associations but not eliminate any other possibilities.

ILLUSTRATION: mass grave with four people in a row and a watch with a broken band next to the wrist of the first person but between first and second person.

Provenience. Trying to establish provenience is an important part of the archaeological interpretation. Provenience, also sometimes called “provenance”, refers to the place from which an object came, as opposed to where it was found. In forensic investigations, bodies or body parts are often found on the shore of a river or other body of water. Often the body started somewhere else and washed up at the point of discovery. Provenience of the body refers to where it came from, usually meaning where the person died and, in this case, first came to be in the water. Different factors can affect the movement of the body such as water currents, the body’s buoyancy from clothing or a life vest, or scavenging by marine animals. Investigators must consider these factors carefully when establishing the body’s provenience. Correctly identifying these variables and finding the body’s provenience can be critical to establishing who the person was, how they came to be in the water, how and when they died. Similarly, a running shoe with a human foot might be found on a beach. Pollen and soil grains from the tread of the shoe may indicate the provenience of the person by showing the environment in which they were walking before the body entered the water.

Time elapsed since deposition. In a forensic context, establishing how long evidence has been at a scene is an important challenge. Typically, time elapsed since deposition relates directly to the post-mortem interval (also “Time Since Death”). As archaeologists are accustomed to analyzing evidence that may be very old, they must consider how the condition of the evidence at the time of discovery might be different from the original condition when the evidence was first deposited. In the case of human remains the archaeologist must consider decay rates of soft tissue (e.g., muscle and skin) and scavenging relative to temperature, humidity, altitude, the type and number of local scavengers and local plants, whether or not remains were buried, and if so, the effects of soil acidity. As there are so many factors involved, post-mortem interval estimates are seldom precise (e.g., a time since death estimate may be a range of one week to three months), but every piece of new information can help identify a victim and establish how they died.

Site/scene formation. This is the process by which a crime scene is created, the result of interaction between people and a place. Site formation can be the result of intentional acts like digging a grave, or unintentional acts like leaving footprints. Crime scene investigators analyze the scene to try to understand the events that formed it. They do this by photographing and drawing the scene as discovered, then collecting physical evidence. After that, they use logical, critical thinking to establish how the scene was affected by the people who were there.

Knowing if a burial was intentional can be important in deciding if a crime was committed or if the death was an accident. For example, careful excavation of a buried body may demonstrate if the body was buried by natural or unnatural processes. The natural explanation could be that the body was in a river that flooded over its banks. The body, bloated during the decomposition process, could float into a low-lying area. As the body decomposes and skeletonizes it will sink. Rushing water can move silt and sand into the area over time and cover up the skeleton. As the water level drops, the skeleton can be partially or completely buried. The unnatural burial will occur when a person digs a hole and places a body into it before filling the hole back in with soil. The natural explanation may be the result of a person drowning in the river, whereas the unnatural burial is more likely related to a crime.

Report writing

A report is a formal description of an event or investigation. A forensic report explains what an investigator did, how they did it and what they think the evidence shows.  A forensic investigator’s report is especially important because it must be able to explain the results of the investigation to a judge and possibly a jury who would not be able to attend a crime scene and observe an investigation first-hand. There are no agreed-upon protocols or standards for writing forensic reports in Canada, but most forensic scientists use a scientific format that includes the following:

  • Report summary
  • Background (how the author became involved in the case)
  • Qualifications of the author (what makes the author an authority on the subject)
  • Materials, methods and limitations (what work was done, how and why it was conducted, and any barriers to further investigation/analysis)
  • Results (what the evidence found)
  • Interpretation of results (what the evidence means, within the area of expertise)
  • Conclusions (another short summary of the case, the findings and their importance)
  • Bibliography (what sources of information – professional literature, interviews etc – were used).

Article Credit Source

http://www.sfu.museum/forensics/eng/pg_media-media_pg/archaeologie-archaeology/


 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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ep185 Forensic Anthropology

Forensic anthropology is the analysis of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise, unidentified human remains, and is important in both legal and humanitarian contexts.

Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to analyze human remains, and to aid in the detection of crime. In addition to assisting in locating and recovering human skeletal remains, forensic anthropologists work to assess the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton.

Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, document trauma to the skeleton, and/or estimate the postmortem interval.

In this episode 

In this episode, I talk with Dr.MariaTeresa A. Tersigni-Tarrant about what is forensic anthropology and how it can help you in solving your case or answering the unanswered. We dive into the how-tos of scene work and the obstacles that come with recovering and packaging skeletal remains.


Important Links 

Dr.MariaTeresa A. Tersigni-Tarrant email:  m.tersigni.tarrant@gmail.com 

ABFA – American Board of Forensic Anthropology:

Todays Guest

Dr.MariaTeresa A. Tersigni-Tarrant is a practicing, board-certified Forensic Anthropologist, one just over 100 individuals ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.  Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant received her Bachelor’s of Science Degrees in Microbiology and Anthropology from Michigan State University in 2000.  She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship in 2005 at the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC-CIL) on Hickam AFB, Hawaii.  During this fellowship, she was instrumental in establishing standard operating procedures for the histological analysis of human remains for the purpose of identifying missing armed-service members.  From 2006- 2012, Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant held several teaching positions at undergraduate, graduate and medical school institutions.  Most recently, as a course director and instructor, she developed and implemented a curriculum for medical gross anatomy (including the laboratory component) and medical embryology for first-year medical students.  Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant served as the Forensic Anthropologist for the State of Georgia-At-Large working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) from 2009-2012.  She continues to consult with GBI on various cases.  Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant returned to JPAC-CIL in 2012, where she was employed as a Forensic Anthropologist and managed the histology casework at the CIL.  She currently owns her own consulting firm offering consulting services related to forensic anthropology casework to medicolegal agencies including the Saint Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office, the GBI and the Department of Defense.  Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant s as an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery’s Center for Anatomical Science and Education where she teaches gross anatomy and embryology to first-year medical students, anatomy graduate students and PA, AT, PT and OT students. She also serves as the Director of Forensic Education and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at Saint Louis University, where she runs the Medicolegal Death Investigators training Courses and the Masters Medicolegal Death Investigation Course. Her research interests include bone biology; human and non-human histology, child abuse: patterned fractures and timing of healing, human decomposition research, bone pathology, and developmental anatomy.


 

 

 

 

 

 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

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ep184 New Medicolegal Investigator Certification

Medicolegal Death Investigator Certification

The Medicolegal Death Investigator certificate is designed to give the graduate a recognized credential that can translate into greater recognition within their respective field.  Successful completion of the exam demonstrates the student has an understanding of the death investigation process and has met the minimum knowledge standard.  The scope of knowledge for the certification exam is defined in the National Institute of Justice publication Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator.

This certification is intended to fill a gap in certification and basic knowledge of death investigation not previously available. Many professionals working death investigation or those wanting to enter the field of death investigation do not yet qualify for the Registry Certification of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators  ABMDI. Therefore no standardized minimum knowledge certificate exists.


The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators  ABMDI

The Medicolegal Death Investigator Certification is not associated with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, ABMDI.  It is the goal of this certification to move students through the development of skills and experience toward the qualifications of acceptance into the ABMDI certification process.  When a certified investigator achieves Registry Certification through ABMDI all future certification will be governed through ABMDI.


How this exam was developed

The test questions were developed by a team of experts in various disciplines from across the country each focusing on the minimum knowledge needed to be a Medicolegal Death Investigator.  The scope of knowledge for the certification exam is defined in the National Institutes of Justice publication Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator.  As well as from the testing committee’s combined experience and research in all areas of death investigation and evidence management.

Testing Committee

Darren Dake   

D-ABMDI, CI, CCI

Dottie Owens 

Coroner, Ada County Idaho

Anita Brooks     

Common Trauma Expert, Author, and International Trainer

Paul Parker   

Executive Officer at San Diego County   (CLERB)

Todd Thorne   

Supervising  Criminalist, Wisconsin

How the test will be reviewed and updated

The testing committee will meet each quarter to review the testing process and student scores to try and identify any areas that may need further development or restructuring.  The committee will also consider new scientific advancements and investigative procedures as they align the current testing categories and questions, making changes or modifications as needed.

Test Design

The exam is a proctored exam administered through a third party testing agency. The exam is a three-hour timed examination consisting of 225 questions cover numerous categories.

Testing Categories

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Ethics and Professional
  • Identifying Evidence
  • Investigating Death
  • Job-Related Stress
  • Scientific Knowledge

 

 


Other Links talked about in the show

Monthly Training Membership – Click Here   

At the Death Investigation Training  Academy, we believe education is a lifelong pursuit, and we want to empower you to achieve your goals throughout your life and career. We’re continually working to improve our courses and platform to give you access to relevant content, and to help you learn more efficiently and effectively.

We’re excited to announce Academy Membership– a new payment model that allows you to purchase access to all content in the online Academy on a month-by-month basis, with no long-term commitment required.

 

 

 

 

 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep183 Texting Tragedy


Excerpt from C.OD.E   (A Real Story)

Josie answered the familiar notes of an incoming call. “9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

“Accident. I need help. There’s been an accident.”

“Okay sir, stay calm. Are you hurt? Were you in the accident?”

“No ma’am. I just drove up on it. Looks like it just happened. Single car. It looks like it drove right off the highway and plowed into a tree. I don’t see skid marks or anything.”

Josie typed as the man provided details, dispatching fire, ambulance, and law enforcement. “Can you tell if anyone is in the vehicle, sir?”

The man huffed as he spoke, indicating movement. “I’m walking up to it now.”

“What’s your  location, sir?”

“I’m on Highway 49, about four miles out of Maddox.”

Josie didn’t have to pull up the map. Maddox was her own hometown suburb, small enough where almost everybody knew everybody, and the headquarters for their county’s 9-1-1 dispatch office. This caller was about four miles from where Josie sat right then. Her heart sped up.

Suddenly, the caller half gasped and half cried. “Oh no. O God. How awful.”

“Sir? What’s happening, sir?” Josie spoke silently to herself. Please don’t let it be any of my family or close friends.

The man spoke through tears, “It’s a girl. She looks young.”

A single, loud sob heaved across the phone line. Then, under weighted breaths he continued, “She’s torn up. Bad. Oh man. I think she might be dead. She’s not moving and there’s blood everywhere. She has blonde hair, but right now, most of it’s dripping with red.”

For a split moment, Josie’s imagination tried to take over her mind. Is it someone I know? My niece, Stephie just got her license and she’s a blonde.

Josie took an intentional deep breath and admonished herself. Stop. Get a grip. Stay focused on the job. “Okay sir, I know this is difficult, but I need you to hold it together. Help is on the way.”

“Tell them to hurry. Except I’m afraid it’s too late for her.”

Josie forced herself to maintain a professional composure, though adrenalin flooded her veins and her blood pressure pumped more powerfully than it did during most calls. Something about this one felt different. And it was more than location, something in Josie’s gut told her she wasn’t going to like the outcome. She would soon find out her gut was absolutely right.

The caller hung up after the first responders arrived on scene, but the tension in the air of the 9-1-1 office did not dissipate. Across squawking radios, it was evident in all of the voices attending the accident; county deputies, state highway patrol, and EMS, something wasn’t being said. There was a vibe that said there was something uniquely wrong. Moments like this made the physical disconnect between 9-1-1 and those who worked directly with victims feel like a punch in the stomach. Josie wished she could know exactly what was going on.

It would take over an hour before she found out why everyone seemed exceptionally on edge. Sergeant Troy Matthews walked into the office, his face so low it appeared as if his chin might drag the ground.

Sergeant Matthews made his way directly to Josie. “You took the call about the girl out on 49?”

Tears pooled in Josie’s eyes. “Yes.”

Troy, whose own eyes glistened, placed his hand on Josie’s shoulder.”It was Mandy Sellers’ daughter, Bella.”

Josie raised out of her chair instinctively, “What? No. Not Bella! She—we— all of us loved. . . .”

“I know,” Troy broke in. “It was like she belonged to all of us, like she was our own daughter.”

Josie fell back onto the seat, Mandy was a well-respected sheriff’s deputy who had been on the force for over fifteen years. “I—we. We practically raised her with Mandy. After she started school, she came every day when they let out. In the summer, she ran and got us lunch, or on really hot days, a small vanilla cone for both of us. From the time she was a little thing, she had been a bright light and energizing force that lifted our spirits on mundane or difficult days. We all looked forward to her visits, I can’t imagine her not bouncing through the door.”

Troy nodded his head in agreement. “I know what you mean. Her innocence made you remember the good in this world — something it’s easy to forget in this line of work.”

The 9-1-1 line lit up requiring Josie’s immediate attention. In that instant, Josie knew the expectation. Turn your feelings off and turn the calm on. She had no choice but to delay her grief until later.

But one thought disturbed Josie the most as she turned to take the call. How did Bella die?

Josie shoveled her emotions deep into the recesses of her soul and pushed past her thoughts to make it through the rest of her shift. It was when she climbed into her car that everything bubbled up and washed over her. Right before leaving, Josie’s supervisor told her how the accident had happened. Bella’s eyes must have left the road — she likely veered off while typing the unfinished text they found on her phone.

Josie clutched the steering wheel, unable to make her hand turn the ignition to start her car. Her sobs ricocheted off the interior windows and dashboard, her own cries pelting her ears.

After several minutes, Josie transitioned to hiccups. She shouted through them at the roof.“Why Bella? Honey, we talked about texting and driving so many times. I know your mom had those conversations with you too. You promised.” Josie dropped her chin toward her chest and whispered, “You promised.”

A somber cloud hung over the community in the weeks following Bella’s death. But for Josie and her 9-1-1 teammates, as well as local ambulance and fire crews, plus city, county, and many state law enforcement officers, the gray cloud refused to blow away so quickly.

Though everyone struggled to screw on a mask of normalcy, no one could bear its heavy weight for long periods of time. When one slipped, sadness, anger, or denial would spill from the person, causing an awkwardness to fill the room — yet few would talk about it. Instead, everyone ducked their heads and tried to pretend the slip never occurred. Mostly, no one mentioned Bella’s name.

Sometimes, Josie pondered why they all avoided talking about the beautiful young ray of light was extinguished too soon. She guessed that everyone wrestled with the same confusing emotions she did.

Many days, Josie denied her anger at Bella for doing one of the most dangerous things she was warned against. Sadness crept in when Josie imagined all of the things Bella might have done with her life if she’d lived. But the most painful occurred when Josie forgot Bella was gone, glanced at the clock, and momentarily thought she would breeze in the door just to say hi.

Josie always adapted and resolved to make it through her shift, but there were a handful of instances when she had to take a bathroom break, so she could have another solid cry. She often longed to talk to someone, but few seemed willing and no professional help was offered. Josie coped the only way she knew how. She swallowed her grief, hoping it would eventually go away — and in some form it did. Temporarily.

Eight years later, after the umpteenth time of driving past Bella’s crash site, triggered by vivid imaginings of those horrific final moments, Josie finally woke up. She realized there was a pattern to her bouts of insomnia, nightmares, anxiety attacks, and erratic eating. She needed professional help.

Josie gave herself permission to seek out a grief counselor, and began weekly sessions. Ready to heal, she made rapid progress, and the counselor soon shifted Josie to monthly visits. Within six months, she felt like a new person and felt she had processed the unresolved grief she’d tried to avoid for so long.

The sun hung low on a warm summer evening when Josie sat at the foot of Bella’s grave. She held two small vanilla cones in her hands, symbols of a special bond and a sign of Josie’s forgiveness. After finally asking for help, Josie was able to let go.  

Profiling Josie’s Reactions

The fact that Josie’s painful memories surfaced weeks, months, or years after experiencing a loss or traumatic event, is actually normal. If you think of people as being like volcanoes, and human feelings like magma, you can see how pushing emotional pain down builds pressure that at some point, must escape.

If you don’t intentionally find healthy vents to release steams of anger, sadness, frustration, grief, etc., at some point, you can expect an emotional explosion. Sadly, these eruptions often happen at an inopportune time. Intentionality is the key to protecting yourself and others from the damage of painful experiences on the job.

Questions to Consider

  • What symptoms did Josie have that mirror Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
  • How might Josie and her colleagues have supported each other and strengthened their departmental work in the process?
  • Where could Josie have turned to work through her grief sooner?

C.O.D.E. Conduct

Communication — Many counselors say grief is what you feel inside, and mourning is the outward expression of grief. In order to truly heal from loss or trauma, you must both grieve and mourn. Share your emotions by talking with a safe person you can trust.

Objectiveness — If you find you are often emotionally triggered by environment, scent, sounds, or other connections to past events, allow yourself to face and deal with the origin of that pain. Are you struggling to sleep at night? Eating poorly? Lethargic? Anxious? Try to view yourself as an outsider might, or pretend these things are happening to someone close to you. What kind of advice would you give them? Now take it yourself.

Dedication — Memorializing a loss through volunteerism or founding a social cause can provide a sense of purpose born from the pain. Dedicating time and energy for the benefit of others takes nothing away from the person(s) who are gone, but can honor them and keep their memory alive indefinitely.

Engagement — Participate in conversations and activities that honor the dead. Don’t run from reminders or avoid sharing grief. Openness helps us heal faster and more deeply. Don’t let a loss stop you from connecting to other people. We all need someone. If you feel like you don’t, that’s a waving red flag pointing to the likelihood of a past that’s holding you hostage.

Click the Cover, Get Your Copy!

 

 

 

 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep182 PTS with or without the D

Police work and in particular, death investigation,   is one of the most stressful jobs in this country. Day after day, investigators see the worst of humanity; absorb the world’s negativity, and come home to families who love them. How can you not expect this to have an effect on your mind, body, and soul? Not to mention the effect it has on your family, so ask yourself the question; is your job destroying your family? We need to recognize the warning signs of stress and how it can affect our lives and the lives of our family.  The biggest danger in law enforcement related stress is ignoring it! 

Children

According to a 2002 study led by Rudy Arredondo, law enforcement children “can develop traumatic stress vicariously” through watching and listening to their parents experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This exposure can cause symptoms such as hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts, eating disorders and aggressive agitated behaviors. Children can even share the same memories or re-enact the LEO’s trauma by knowing that a traumatic event was experienced by the parent.

Spouses

The research conducted on law enforcement marriage rates has mixed conclusions. Matthews (2011) indicates that some studies have law enforcement divorce rates as high as 75% while other studies indicate law enforcement divorce rates to be lower than the national average.

Tips for Strengthening a Law Enforcement Marriage:  

  1. Leave the stress of the job, at the job. Learn to switch gears and pay attention to your spouse when you walk in the front door at home.
  2. Become an active listener to your spouse’s needs.
  3. Avoid the law enforcement culture and do not accept that the workaholic lifestyle is acceptable to your spouse. It is not healthy for a marriage to spend limited time together.
  4. Emotional detachment is needed for the job, but learn to turn it off at home.
  5. Make a Planned Date Night around your work schedule… and do it often!
  6. Do not allow “Partner Envy” or a feeling of competition for your time to enter your home.
  7. Be spontaneous, let your spouse know you care and think about him/her often.
  8. Keep your civilian friends (not everything needs to be cop, cop, and cop).
  9. Share the workload around the house and partner with your partner (hint-hint)
  10. Seek the help of a marriage counselor or help with PTSD if needed.

Tips from an article written by Mark Bond- for full article click here:   Married to the Badge

Protecting Yourself

Police officers have one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, possibly the highest. They have a high divorce rate, about second in the nation. They are problem drinkers about twice as often as the general population. These facts are warning signals for unseen problems that are not being handled.

Researchers use suicide, divorce and alcoholism rates as three key indexes of stress in a group of people. Clearly, police work is stressful. Hans Selye, the foremost researcher in stress in the world, said that police work is “the most stressful occupation in America even surpassing the formidable stresses of air traffic control.”

We need to recognize the warning signs of stress and how it can affect our lives and the lives of our families.  The biggest danger in law enforcement related stress is ignoring it.

Police stress is not always unique nor obvious. Almost any single stressor in police work can be found in another occupation. What is unique is all the different stressors in one job. Many people see the dangers of acute stressors such as post-shooting trauma and have programs dealing with them. These stressors are easy to see because of the intense emotional strain a person suffers. But what about the not so obvious, chronic stressors; are they important?

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress has at least two effects on people. First, prolonged stress causes people to regress. Their psychological growth reverses, and they become more immature. They rapidly become more childish and primitive. A common example is a sick person who is miserable and in pain for several days. Any wife will agree that her husband becomes self-centered, whiny and irritable; he expects constant attention and care. He behaves like a young, selfish child. People naturally regress during chronic discomfort.

Second, chronic stress numbs people’s sensitivity. They can’t stand to continually see human misery. They must stop feeling or they won’t survive. The mind has this defense mechanism so people can continue working in horrible situations. If they kept their normal sensitivity, they would fall apart. As they become insensitive to their own suffering, they become insensitive to the suffering of others. When treated with indignity they lose not only a sense of their own dignity but also the dignity of others. The pain of others stops bothering them, and they are no longer bothered when they hurt others.

Police officers and death investigators encounter stressors in call after call which saps their strength. Debilitation from this daily stress accumulates making officers more vulnerable to traumatic incidents and normal pressures of life. The weakening process is often too slow to see; neither a person nor his friends are aware of the damage being done.

Excerpt of article shared with permission from Not So Obvious Police Stress

 

Blank white space

 

 

Anita Brook-corner talk-secondary stressAnita Brooks

anitabrooks.com 

Anita Brooks motivates others to dynamic break-throughs. Blending mind, heart, body, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, and Common Trauma Expert.

Anita is also an award-winning author. Her titles include Amazon bestseller: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, Leafwood Publishing,Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, and contributor to The Change: Insights Into Self Empowerment Book #4. Her books are available at major and independent bookstores, Amazon, plus several online retailers.

 


 

 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep181 Ask a Coroner

One thing you can count on in life is the fact that you are going to die. How’s that for a buzzkill? Most people diligently ignore the reality of their future demise. Thinking about death somehow seems wrong. Luckily, a real-life coroner challenged a few thousand internet strangers to do the thinking for you.

The result is a collection of morbid and slightly embarrassing questions all about The End. Honest, and often hilarious, answers from a woman who has made a career out of death will leave you with a new perspective on life.

This is a meaningful and sincere book with a lighthearted, funny feel. Truly something only a coroner could write. In addition to answering all of your (umm, rather interesting) questions about death, we have laid out all of the options available to you when you die as well as a comprehensive list of key information to help your loved ones (and coroner!) handle your passing. This book is the perfect place to begin thinking about death, and life, in an entirely new way.

It all starts with this book! Spoiler Alert: You’re Gonna Die is a collection of questions provided by thousands of people just like you, and answers from our favorite coroner, Jacquie.

About the Authors

Jacquie Purcell is a Deputy Coroner from Yorkville, Illinois, with over 20 years of experience (and an abundance of fancy titles) in the death industry, ranging from funeral service to death investigations. In addition to being a national board certified Funeral Director and Embalmer, Jacquie is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. Korttany Finn is from Camano Island, Washington. With a unique flair for shaping stories, she helped bring this book about death, to life. It is their combined hope that this book will help people to think about death in an entirely new (and important) way. Death happens and we need to be talking about it as well as preparing. If the conversation starts with all the intriguing or funny aspects, well, all the better!

Visit their  web site at askacoroner.com

 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep180 TotalEM

TOTAL EM is a project devoted to increasing emergency medicine knowledge both to providers and the public.  As demonstrated by previous studies, it can take too long for information to reach the bedside.  The Leaky Pipe model has been suggested as reasons why this happens.

They want to do their part to help shorten the period of time it takes for important medical knowledge in emergency medicine to reach the provider and the patient.  They also want to help educate people across the world in how emergency medicine is an important and lifesaving profession.

Their goal is to provide regularly updated information through the method of FOAMED or Free and Open Access to Medical EDucation.  The plan is to do this with blogs and podcasts.  With your help, they plan to accomplish just that. TOTAL EM is an educational website.  It stands for “Tools Of the Trade and Academic Learning in Emergency Medicine.”  The main focus is to provide training to all of those in emergency medicine, especially those practicing in a rural or remote setting and those who are PAs (but we also love our NP and physician colleagues).

They believe in the importance of education.  Thier website is divided into three main sections.  One is devoted to medical professionals and the information offered directly by the TOTAL EM project.  A second section is devoted to layperson education in emergency medicine which covers most basic topics.  The final section is our access to multiple projects that we support and use frequently.


Todays Guest:   Chip Lange

Chip Lange is an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (EMPA) working primarily in rural Missouri community hospitals.  He has international experience in critical care and emergency medicine.  At his main facility, he acts as a preceptor to both medical and PA students.  He is board certified via the NCCPA by having passed both his PANCE and the EM CAQ.  Special interests include bedside ultrasound, critical care management, and medical education.

 


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep179 By Dawns Early Light – The Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible Case


On December 29, 1999, high school friends Lauria Jaylene Bible and Ashley Renae Freeman spent the evening together celebrating Freeman’s sixteenth birthday. Bible received permission from her parents to spend the night at Freeman’s home. Earlier that day, the girls had spent time at a local pizza restaurant with Kathy Freeman.

At approximately 5:30 am on December 30, 1999, a passerby called 911 reporting that the Freeman home was engulfed in flames. Law enforcement determined the fire had been an arson. Inside the home, the charred remains of Kathy Freeman were discovered lying on the floor of her bedroom; she had been shot in the head. Initially, no other remains were relocated, leading local law enforcement to believe Dan Freeman had killed his wife and fled with both teenage girls. Lauria’s parked car was in the driveway of the home with the keys in the ignition.

On December 31, Lauria’s parents Lorene and Jay Bible returned to the scene, hoping to find additional clues law enforcement may have missed. While walking through the rubble, they discovered what appeared to be another body, and called police. The second body was determined to be that of Dan Freeman, Ashley’s father; like his wife, he had also been shot in the head. After this discovery, the scene was reexamined, but no sign of Lauria Bible or Ashley Freeman was found. In 2010, the Freeman family initiated court proceedings to have Ashley declared legally dead

Suspects and confessions

In the decade following the disappearance of Bible of Freeman, two convicted killer—Tommy Lynn Sells and Jeremy Jones—confessed to murdering them, but subsequently recanted their admissions. Jones had claimed that he murdered Dan and Kathy Freeman as a favor for a friend over drug debt, then took the girls to Kansas, where he sot them and threw their bodies into an abandoned mine. Searches of the mine Jones identified proved unfruitful, however, and Jones subsequently admitted he had fabricated the story in order to get better food and additional phone privileges in prison

In a 2001 profile on Unsolved Mysteries, it was mentioned that rumors had circulated among locals that the Craig County Police Department had been feuding with the Freemans at the time over the death of their son, Shane, who was shot by a deputy after stealing a car. While his death was ruled justifiable, the Freemans had threatened to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Dan Freeman’s brother, Dwayne, claimed that Dan had confided that deputies had tried to intimidate him.

Article/Info Credit:  Wikipedia


This Episode

In this episode, I talk with Jax Miller and Sarah Cailean as to their involvement in this ongoing investigation and how Jax, as a true crime writer, and Sarah, as a police investigator, team up to uncover new clues and sparked the attention of Law Enforcement which moves this case forward.


.

Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep178 Working with OPO’s

Coroner and Medical Examiner Offices play an important role in the organ and tissue donation process. Since all unexpected deaths require Coroner or Medical Examiner review, their cooperation and support is vital for ensuring successful organ and tissue donations, benefiting thousands of transplant recipients each year.

What is an OPO?

In the United States, an organ procurement organization (OPO) is a non-profit organization that is responsible for the evaluation and procurement of deceased-donor organs for organ transplantation. There are 58 such organizations in the United States, each responsible for organ procurement in a specific region, and each a member of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a federally mandated network created by and overseen by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

The individual OPOs represent the front-line of organ procurement, having direct contact with the hospital and the family of the recently deceased donor. Once the OPO receives the consent of the decedent’s family, it works with UNOS to identify the best candidates for the available organs and coordinates with the surgical team for each organ recipient.

OPOs are also charged with educating the public to increase awareness of and participation in the organ donation process.


Episode Guest

In this episode, I talk with Midwest Transplant Network about the need the C/ME system to work closely together and what that can mean to the people needing a donation.   We discuss what types of donation can be made and what most OPO’s are wanting to see from the C/ME network across the country.


Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy 

Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations.

MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions.

MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.


 

 

Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit

This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death.

This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence.

This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene.

Click HERE for more information

 


 

 

The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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