Thursday, November 29, 2012

From Crime Scene to Toe Tag

Death investigations are conducted by both the police and medical examiners or coroners. Each jurisdiction determines whether or not they have a coroner or medical examiner. A coroner is an elected official and may or may not be a medical doctor. A medical examiner is a medical doctor who has been hired by a city or county to conduct autopsies and investigate the cause of suspicious deaths. Elected coroners who are not doctors must hire a pathologist to conduct autopsies.

Bodies are placed in body bags and delivered to the morgue in specially equipped vehicles

Upon arrival at the morgue, bodies are rolled onto scales where they’re weighed.

After weighing, the body is placed inside a cold room until autopsy. Black or dark gray, leak-resistant body bags are used pre-autopsy. The paper bag resting on the body of the murder victim at the top of the photo contains the victim’s personal belongings.

Cold rooms also store amputated body parts. The gray trays on the right contain severed limbs. White, paper-like body bags, like the one lying on the gurney in the rear of the cold room above, are used post-autopsy for bodies waiting to be transported to funeral homes.

The autopsy room

Pathologists in this particular morgue select instruments from a rolling cart placed at each workstation.

Tools of the autopsy trade.

Some M.E.’s prefer to use a bone saw used for cutting through the rib cage beneath the “Y” incision. It’s also used for cutting through the skull.

Scales for weighing internal organs.

Bodies are positioned on a gurney, at the autopsy station, prior to autopsy

Upper chest area of a murder victim. Ligature mark on the neck from strangling. Post autopsy “Y” incision sutures.

The toe tag

Info and photos from here

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