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Pandora ’s box

AbstractSuitcases or other containers are occasionally involved in forensic investigations. If there is a suspicion that human remains are hidden inside such a container, medico-legal examinations are required. However, these containers are occasionally locked. Forced opening of a locked suitcase or container may cause damage to its contents. Additionally, the safety of the investigator has to be considered as such containers may be booby-trapped or contain other hazardous material. An overview of the contents before opening is desirable in order to avoid the possibility of encountering a Pandora ’s box. In forensic medicine, an established approach to examine the inside of a body before opening at autopsy is postmortem computed tomography (CT). However, there may be a reluctance to use this approach for suitcases or containers with metallic components because of the assumption that severe metal artifacts will result in inadequate images. In this article, we present a forensic case in which a CT scan of a metallic suitcase was performed in order to examine its contents. Additionally, we performed an experimental scan of a conventional safe in order to determine if CT is able to revea l the contents of such a highly radiopaque storage box.
Source: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology - Category: Forensic Medicine Source Type: research

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