Authors

Alessandro Feola*, Giulio Di Mizio**, Marisanta Colucci*, Carmela Giordano*, Bruno Della Pietra*

Departments

*Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy - **Department of Legal, Historical, Economic and Social Sciences, University of Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy

Abstract

Introduction: Autopsy is fundamentally important in verifying evidence collected during crime scene investigation, particularly in confirming the compatibility between objective lesions and their purported cause. Sometimes it is possible to identify a staged crime scene created to misattribute responsibility for a death. 

Case Report: The authors present the case of a work-related accident involving a construction worker during construction of a high-speed railway. According to the testimony of other workers, the victim had leaned over the edge of a wall in a tunnel under construction and had fallen from a height of 4.20 m before hitting the central rail of the nearest track. The forensic pathologist did not participate in the crime scene investigation. However, autopsy revealed elements that were not consistent with the purported cause of death. The images taken at the site inspection were re-evaluated and it was concluded that the injuries and other elements were not consistent with a fall from height, but that the worker had been killed by a heavy object dropped from above.

Conclusion: The present case is an example of the importance of the forensic pathologist’s investigation, which could have been useful from the outset to immediately differentiate between a primary scene and staging. This case highlights the indispensability of a correct and exhaustive investigation to assess whether a crime occurred, what type of crime was involved and the event dynamics and the need to improve creme scene investigation tools.

Keywords

crime scene investigation, staged crime scene, autopsy.

DOI:

10.19193/0393-6384_2020_3_301