Today brings us back to normal and the usual dead body.
I was asked to attend a marsh about 60 miles away where a body was found by a dog walker. I’ve never actually asked a member of the public how it feels to come across a body. I virtually always know what i’m about to walk into to find a body must be a bit of a shock. Does it actually effect them long term?
After packing the usual kit and a set of wading boots i trundle of to the site of todays deceased. when i arrive there actually are surprisingly few people around. Literally just a couple of officers and a car protecting the approach. Its a nice change not to feel like the media are spying over my shoulder.
I take a preliminary look at the scene and health and safety are going to dictate what i can and can’t do. I can use chemicals and powders but i’m not about to a high wattage piece of kit in to a damp marsh and hope for the best. I have a few battery operated pieces of apparatus i can use.
It looks like the guy has been in the water for a while as he’s all shrivelled up and slimy. I’m talking up to 48 hours not totally green and bloated like a long time floater. As there isn’t a dog around i’m also guessing he wasn’t out walking his pet and fell into the marshy area. Further examination will tell, know doubt.
I started by looking at the area approaching the body and discovered various different show marks but as there had been a lot of foot traffic prior to my arrival i can virtually discount most of them. It’s as if a heard of wildebeests has flattened the approach. Its not uncommon for the local police to turn up on mass to a body, especially in the middle of nowhere. Its can be quite infrequent for a local officer to see a body. You should see what its like at a large scene when the food wagon arrives. Officers will drive 20 miles for free bit of food.
I do cast a couple of shoe impressions that don’t look totally destroyed but they do look suspiciously force issue.
After clearing a route in i have a close examination of the body looking for any foreign fibres or material that doesn’t look natural. Just as well i had a bit of foresight and packed the waist high waders as i ended up standing in the water and nearly becoming a very wet statistic on more than one occasion. Close examination of a body on slippery marsh ground isn’t easy.
The front half of the body was incident free but when i managed to turn the body you could clearly see a knife sticking out from below his shoulder blades. The clothing probably soaked up most of the blood and the rest had been dissolved into the marshy gloop.
At this point i made an executive decision and halted any further examination. So that no evidence was lost i suggested the body was bagged and sent back to the morgue where it could be further examined in a more conducive environment. I was pretty sure that if i continued at the site i would end up a soaking wet person having the piss taking out of me for ages to come. Also the body needed recovering before dark.
Getting the the body out turned out to be slightly tricky but a bit easier than i thought it would be. He may have been in longer than i thought as i’m pretty sure his arm was about to come lose as i tried manoeuvring him without falling over. His torso was also quite jellyfied, luckily the clothes kept him together.
Eventually the body was collected and my day finished with a trundle back to the office through rush hour.