Multivariate analysis of luminescence spectra as a means of determining postmortem interval.
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Diamond, Patricia A.
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Post-mortem interval (PMI) is the time elapsed since a person died. Currently there is no accurate method for determining PMI of skeletal remains. Existing methods are best suited for deciding whether a bone is of forensic interest, meaning less than fifty years old. This is a problem for areas that have extreme climates, specifically those areas that experience high heat and high humidity, which accelerate decomposition. The objective of this study was to develop a method to accurately predict PMI of skeletal remains through luminescence studies of the change in the intensity of the luminol reaction with skeletal remains over time. Previous research in the area demonstrated that a correlation can be found between the PMI and the change in intensity over long periods of time. This research aims to demonstrate a similar correlation with PMI and to correctly predict the PMI of skeletal remains over much shorter age ranges.