chapter  9
32 Pages

Timing of Death and Injuries in Infants and Young Children

ByKAREN J. GRIEST

Specific to children’s cases, time of death is used to determine if a child was born alive or died/was killed after birth.2,3

The time of death determination must be reliable to be of use. Determining time of death, however, is difficult, and complete accuracy is impossible. Only a determination of a range of time is possible: the most probable earliest and latest time of death. The most reliable determinations of time of death will involve using more than one indicator. Determining a time of death of less than one hour, even in recent deaths, is not possible using anatomical or environmental indicators.3