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Application of the Bayesian framework for forensic interpretation to casework involving postmortem interval estimates of decomposed human remains
Natl Vet Inst, Dept Chem Environm & Feed Hyg, SE-75189 Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine. Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Med, Box 1024, SE-75140 Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Forensic Medicine. Natl Board Forens Med, Dept Forens Med, Box 1024, SE-75140 Uppsala, Sweden.
Chalmers Univ Technol, Math Sci, Gothenburg, Sweden;Univ Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2569-6070
2019 (English)In: Forensic Science International, ISSN 0379-0738, E-ISSN 1872-6283, Vol. 301, p. 402-414Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We demonstrate how the Bayesian framework for forensic interpretation can be adapted for casework involving postmortem intervals (PMI) utilizing taphonomic data as well as how to overcome some of the limitations of current approaches for estimating and communicating uncertainty. A model is implemented for indoor cases based on partial body scores from three different anatomical regions as correlated functions of accumulated temperature (AT). The multivariate model enables estimation of PMI for human remains also when one or two local body scores are missing or undetermined, e.g. as a result of burns, scars or covered body parts. The model was trained using the expectation maximization algorithm, enabling us to account for uncertainty of PMI and/or ambient temperature in the training data. Alternative approaches reporting the results are presented, including the likelihood curve, likelihood ratios for competing hypotheses and posterior probability distributions and credibility intervals for PMI. The applicability or the approaches in different forensic scenarios is discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD , 2019. Vol. 301, p. 402-414
Keywords [en]
Postmortem interval, Bayesian, Forensic taphonomy, Value of evidence, Forensic statistics
National Category
Forensic Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-390510DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2019.05.050ISI: 000473261300056PubMedID: 31234111OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-390510DiVA, id: diva2:1341850
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-05994Available from: 2019-08-12 Created: 2019-08-12 Last updated: 2019-08-12Bibliographically approved

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Pålsson, Ann-SofieSandler, Håkan

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