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IDENTIFYING A VICTIM OF ALLIGATOR ATTACK AND SCAVENGER FISH IN THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON RAINFOREST USING SMILE PHOTOGRAPHS: A CASE REPORT

Leticia Regina Alfaia Custodio, Murilo Sérgio Valente-Aguiar, Ricardo Pereira Ramos, Gederson Rossato, Talita Lima Castro-Espicalsky

Abstract


Reports of deaths caused by alligators or crocodiles are rare in the literature. These deaths may be related to sharp force trauma caused by the teeth of these animals, with or without mutilation, or even drowning after seizure and submersion of the victim. In forensic, it is harder to identify these bodies in case of mutilation of the upper limbs during the attack or when the corpse is in an advanced stage of skeletonization. Since smile photographs are an important source of ante-mortem references for comparison, we aimed to report a human identification based on a photograph of the victim, despite the absence of limbs caused by the alligator attack and the advanced skeletonization stage due to scavenger fish action in the Amazon, even though the victim was found only 36 hours after his disappearance. The description of alligator attacks and the marks observed on the victim's body is essential to help medical and forensic professionals diagnose the injuries found and, consequently, define the cause of death. 


Keywords


Forensic Sciences, Forensic Dentistry, Photograph, Alligators and Crocodiles.

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