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Volume 2010, Article ID 610639, 7 pages
Research Article

Using Estimated On-Site Ambient Temperature Has Uncertain Benefit When Estimating Postmortem Interval

Département Entomologie, Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale, 1 Boulevard Théophile Sueur, 93111 Rosny-Sous-Bois Cedex, France

Received 4 September 2009; Accepted 21 March 2010

Academic Editor: David Denlinger

Copyright © 2010 Laurent Dourel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The forensic entomologist uses weather station data as part of the calculation when estimating the postmortem interval (PMI). To reduce the potential inaccuracies of this method caused by the distance between the crime scene and the meteorological station, temperature correlation data from the site of the corpse may be used. This experiment simulated the impact of retrospective weather data correction using linear regression between seven stations and sites in three climatic exposure groups during three different seasons as part of the accumulated degree days calculation for three necrophagous species (Diptera: Calliphoridae). No consistent benefit in the use of correlation or the original data from the meteorological stations was observed. In nine cases out of 12, the data from the weather station network limited the risk of a deviation from reality. The forensic entomologist should be cautious when using this correlation model.