Undiscovered deaths are cases in which a person has passed away, but their body is not found for an extended period of time, sometimes even months or years. These unattended deaths can occur in many different settings, including homes, abandoned buildings, and even outdoors.
When a body is not discovered immediately after death, the decomposition process begins to take place. Depending on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, the rate at which human decomposition takes place can vary significantly. If unattended deaths occur in cold climates or in areas with low humidity levels, the body may take much longer to decompose than it would if it were exposed to warmer temperatures and higher levels of humidity.
Due to the slow progression of human decomposition when unattended deaths occur, these types of cases often require special investigation techniques to determine the cause of death and any suspicious circumstances that may have been involved. In some instances, investigative teams must use forensic anthropology to help identify skeletal remains and determine how long ago death occurred. Careful analysis of postmortem changes is also necessary when examining unattended deaths since this evidence can be used to estimate the length of time between death and discovery of the corpse.
Forensics – Unattended Deaths
In addition to forensic investigation techniques, other methods used for searching for unattended deaths include aerial imaging and ground-based searches. Aerial images can be used to detect signs that a body may have been present at a certain location over an extended period of time due to discoloration on the ground caused by decomposition fluids or other environmental factors such as wind direction. Ground-based searches involve crews combing through an area looking for possible indicators that someone has died there such as pieces of clothing or personal effects lying close by.
Most unattended deaths do not go unnoticed forever however; usually someone will eventually come across them and contact law enforcement so they can investigate further. It is important that anyone who discovers potential unattended death locations follow proper protocols in order to ensure any evidence present is preserved properly during recovery operations. This helps investigators piece together what happened leading up to the untimely demise so justice can be served accordingly.