Again, Dr. Goff’s book provides a good example of a case where insect evidence established such a time gap. A body found on April 18th yielded only First Instar Maggots, some still emerging from their eggs. Based on his knowledge of this insect’s life cycle in the environmental conditions present at the crime scene, Dr. Goff concluded that the body had only been exposed to insects since the previous day, the 17th. According to witnesses, the victim was last seen alive two days prior, on the 15th. It seemed that the body must have been somewhere else, protected from exposure to any insects, in the interim. In the end, the murderer was caught and revealed he had killed the victim on the 15th, but kept the body in the trunk of a car until dumping it on the 17th.
- Crime Scene Insects in the Soil: A dead body lying on the ground will release all its fluids into the soil below. As a result of this seepage, the soil chemistry changes substantially. Native soil organisms leave the area as the pH rises. A whole new community of arthropods inhabit this gruesome niche. A forensic entomologist will sample the soil below and near where the body was lying. The organisms found in the soil samples can determine whether the body decomposed at the location where it was found, or prior to being dumped there.