Two young children, respectively 11 and 13 years old, originally from a small town of Southern Italy, were missing on 5 June 2006 (06:30 p.m.). Soon after their disappearance, the search for the missing children began. Broadcasters promptly transmitted a description of the missing children, pushing the entire community to assist in the search and safe recovery of the children. However, every effort was in vain, and the search went on for more than 1 year. During the missing-child search, the investigators collected enough evidence against the father, who was arrested 17 months after the children’s disappearance. He was indicted for kidnapping, homicide and concealment of the two bodies. He never confessed to the crimes and claimed to be innocent. Threemonths after the conviction, a firemanfound thetwocorpses in a subterranean, dry cistern next to a well over 20 m deep. The bodies were well preserved, almost mummified, with only few body-parts skeletonised. Based on dental records, they were identified as those of the two children, who had gone missing 1.5 years before. Signs of a very lowinsect activity were present, reasonably consistentwith a rapid skin dehydration. The autopsy showedno signs of defence injuries or ligature consistent with strangulation or captivation, except for fractures of the axial skeleton at a number of points consistent with a fall froma low–medium height. The body of the elder brother presented major injuries with signs of recent haemorrhages and gut content analysis consistent with the last meal, which provided enough evidence to ascertain a very short survival time. The younger child showed minor injuries, signs of old haemorrhages and gastric- and intestine-emptying timeconsistentwith a longer survival time of approximately 3–4 days, spent alone in the dark and cold cistern. A long post-mortem interval (PMI) of approximately 20 months was estimated, mainly fromthe pattern of insect succession. Based on such physical evidence, on 4 March 2008, 4 months after conviction and 40 days after the recovery of the two bodies, the father was finally released from prison and exonerated from previous indictment of homicide.
|Titolo:||The bodies of two missing children in an enclosed underground environment|
|Autori interni:||CAMPOBASSO, Carlo Pietro|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Rivista:||FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|