U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Test for Carrion Fly Full Siblings: A Tool for Detecting Postmortem Relocation of a Corpse

NCJ Number
240858
Author(s)
Christine J. Picard,, Jeffrey D. Wells,
Date Published
March 2012
Length
4 pages
Annotation
The authors of this study proposed a genetic test for full sibship for a pair of carrion flies that could reveal the postmortem relocation of a corpse.
Abstract
The authors propose a genetic test for full sibship for a pair of carrion flies that could reveal the postmortem relocation of a corpse. A carrion fly larva is sometimes left behind when a corpse is moved. The discovery of full sibling larvae of approximately the same developmental stage at two locations would strongly suggest that a corpse was moved between those two sites. Distributions of pairwise comparisons of relatedness (R) coefficients were generated using amplified fragment length polymorphism profiles for nine samples of laboratory-generated full siblings as well as for a reference sample of nonfull sibling Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). The mean relative R coefficient, a pairwise measure of the proportion of shared alleles, was 0.479 (±0.289 SD) for full siblings, close to the theoretical expectation of 0.5. A likelihood ratio (LR) test was based on observed distributions of R. R greater than 0.55 corresponded to an LR greater than 1000 favoring full sibship for that pair of individuals. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.

Date Published: March 1, 2012